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Home :: What is autism?

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects the way people interact and communicate with those around them.  Each child and adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is unique and has their own strengths, gifts and support needs. 

First identified in 1943 by Leo Kanner, ASD is one of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) of childhood onset. The symptoms of autism may be present from birth, but they may not be noticed until a child is two or three, when language normally develops.  ASD is distinguished by severe impairments in communication and social interactions, a restricted range of interests and activities and stereotyped behaviours. These neurological characteristics are common to all ASD’s but symptoms can vary widely among individuals. The cause continues to elude us.

View the 'We have an Autism Spectrum Disorder' brochure in pdf format.


Prevalence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder Spectrum

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the rate is 1 in 68.


Autism: Criteria and Diagnosis

For criteria and diagnosis information, visit: Autism Canada