What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder affecting 1 in every 150 people. It affects children and adults. Children and adults with autism can show a mixture of behaviors. Two people with the same diagnosis can act very differently from one another.
What are the symptoms of autism?
- Delayed speech or not able to speak
- Avoiding contact with others, such as not touching or hugging you, or not looking at you when you are talking to him or her
- Playing with things in an odd way - like constantly stacking toys or lining them up in a very certain way
- Strong reactions or dislikes to certain colors, textures, or types of food
These behaviors are not always seen by a doctor during a 15-30 minute appointment. Make sure you tell your doctor any symptoms you may be seeing. Early diagnosis is the best treatment for this disorder.
How do I get help?
If your child or family member has unusual behaviors that worry you, here are ways you can get help:
- Talk to your child's doctor
- Ask for tests to make sure it is not another problem, such as a hearing problem
- Call your County Mental Health Agency
- Call your local Intermediate Unit (IU) - to find your local IU go to http://edna.ed.state.pa.us
- Call the Pennsylvania Early Intervention Hotline (help for children birth to 3 years) CONNECT at 1-800-692-7288.
- Call the Autism Society of America at 1-800-3Autism
- Read the list of Resources and the Autism Spectrum Disorders Fact Sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Log onto these Web sites: