Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is Autism?How common is Autism?What causes Autism?Is there a cure for Autism?Where can I find more information about Autism?Where can I find more information about developmental milestones that my child should be reaching?What resources are available for families in Colorado?What is Autism?Autism Spectrum Disorders are a group of life-long developmental disorders. People with autism display arange of symptoms that vary in intensity. The range of mild to severe symptoms includes impairments insocial interaction, communication and play activities. The term “autism” is often used to generally refer tothe entire spectrum of disorders. The umbrella term Autism Spectrum Disorders, used interchangeably withPervasive Developmental Disorders, includes five diagnoses. Autism Disorder Asperger’s Syndrome Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified Rett’s Syndrome Childhood Disintegrative DisorderSymptoms are typically seen before the age of three years, and the disorder is more common in boys thangirls. Autism occurs in children from all regions, cultures and socioeconomic classes.How common is Autism?There is little information on how many children in the United States may be affected with autism. The CDCestimates a prevalence 2-6 per 1,000 children. Over the past decade, there has been concern that the numberof children with autism may be rising. The increase may be due to broader diagnostic criteria; bettermethods for diagnosis; increased awareness of the disorder; or an actual increase in the number of childrenwith autism.What causes Autism?Although it is known that autism is the result of some abnormality in brain development, little is knownabout what causes the disorder. Scientists think that both genetic and environmental factors play a role. TheColorado center and five other sites have designed a study to investigate risk factors and causes of autism.The study will likely begin in 2007.Is there a cure for Autism?There is no cure. However, intensive educational and behavioral programs can help with communication andsocial skills.
Where can I find more information about Autism?Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/)National Institute of Mental Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/autism.cfm)First Signs (www.firstsigns.org/ )Where can I find more information about developmental milestones that my child should be reaching?“Learn the Signs. Act Early.”The CDC has launched an autism awareness campaign to inform parents and pediatricians of the importance ofpaying attention to their childs developmental milestones. To learn more, visitwww.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/ActEarly/What resources are available for families in Colorado?Please visit the following websites for more information.Autism Society of Colorado (www.autismcolorado.org)Autism Society of Boulder County (www.autismboulder.org)Family Voices of Colorado (www.familyvoices.org/st/CO.htm)Parent to Parent of Colorado (www.p2p-co.org)