Autism Resources

Autism Facts

Therapy room at Lighthouse Autism Center with toys on a table with blue chairs and book shelves above

Definitions, Signs, and Associations of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism, as defined by the Autism Society of America, is a complex and lifelong developmental disability that appears early in childhood and affects the individual’s social and communication skills, self-regulatory behaviors, and relationships. The characteristics of autism and the intensity of symptoms can vary depending on the individual. Therefore, autism is referred to as a “spectrum disorder.” The first signs of autism generally emerge between 24 and 36 months of age, and there is no single-known cause of the disability. In the most recent study performed by the CDC, 1 in every 36 children are diagnosed with autism. Furthermore, boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls. (

Autism Spectrum Disorder is defined as the broad range of conditions that include challenges with communication skills, social skills, motor skills, daily living skills and more. Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are general terms used for grouping complex disorders affecting brain development. 

Early Signs of Autism

Recognizing the initial signs of autism can lead to an earlier diagnosis and early intervention for children with autism.