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Understanding Autism

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological condition that results in developmental delays in both social communication and social interaction. Recognizing autism and related disorders is the first step in helping a child who is living with this condition.

Children with an autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty processing sensory information. They may react more strongly to things they see, taste or touch. They may have trouble adjusting to or ignoring things like sounds and smells. They often have delays with their gross motor, fine motor and oral skills. Because of these difficulties, they are slower to process social information.

As a result, children with autism spectrum disorder often turn away from the complex verbal and social world. Instead, they turn toward the world of objects. To children with autism spectrum disorder, things like video games and television are much less complex and, therefore, appealing and even comforting.

Children with autism spectrum disorder typically develop simplification strategies to deal with what they see as a complex world. These strategies often manifest as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities.

Researchers have identified approximately 10 different genes that come together in different ways, resulting in conditions that fall under the general heading of autism spectrum disorder. Children on the spectrum itself can be vastly different. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.

At Caravel Autism Health, we are autism health specialists. Helping children on the autism spectrum is our singular focus.

We work with families to provide testing, diagnosis and treatment. We develop in-home treatment programs designed to help parents understand the challenges their child is facing. Our proven methods help parents build a better sense of connection with their children. They help each child learn how to engage more completely with the world through social interaction. We have eight locations serving families throughout Wisconsin and the Greater Chicago Area.