Autism Spectrum Disorders are lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders that affect how people communicate and relate to others. The range and intensity of disability varies, but all people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders have difficulty with communication, learning and social skills. There is no definitive cause or cure, but specialized interventions can give people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders the tools they need to lead full and productive lives.

What is Autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disorder that typically affects a person’s ability to communicate, form relationships, and respond appropriately to the environment. Autism results from a neurological disorder that impedes normal brain development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.Autism knows no racial, ethnic, social, or economic boundaries, and the overall incidence rate is relatively consistent around the globe. There is no definitive cause or cure for this lifelong disorder, which affects four times as many boys as girls and usually manifests itself during the first three years of life.Often referred to as a “spectrum disorder,” the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a variety of combinations, to varying degrees of severity, from mild to severe. The phrase “autism spectrum disorders” (ASD) refers to a broad definition of autism including Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Rett’s syndrome, Asperger syndrome, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

People with autism process and respond to information in unique ways. Common traits of autism include:

  • Odd repetitive motions
  • Preference for being alone
  • Aversion to cuddling
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Inappropriate attachments to objects
  • Hyper-activity or under-activity
  • Over- or under-active sensory responsiveness
  • Uneven gross/fine motor skills, such as difficulty grasping objects, or dressing themselves
  • Repeating words or monologues
  • Laughing, crying, or showing distress for unapparent reasons
  • Unresponsive to verbal cues
  • Tantrums, and possible aggressive and/or self-injurious behaviour
  • Resistance to change


Like all individuals, however, those with autism have unique personalities and combinations of autistic characteristics. Many children and adults with autism have or develop the ability to make eye contact, show affection, smile, laugh, and build verbal or non-verbal language skills, but generally in different ways than typically-developing individuals.

Since autism was first described more than 60 years ago, the body of related knowledge has grown substantially. However, a vast majority of the public, including many medical and educational professionals, is still unaware of how autism affects people and how to effectively support and interact with affected individuals.

While it isn’t possible to “outgrow” or to be “cured” of autism, symptoms can be lessened and skills can be acquired with treatment and support.

Find out more about Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Geneva Centre for Autism.


Jennifer McCallum

Thank you so much for stopping by this page to get to know a bit more about me and why I started Parent Guide Inc. My business story started a way back in 2001... …after the birth of my first daughter, I realized that an "all-in-one" resource guide for parents was needed, and fast! I designed the New Parent Resource Guide to fill a gap in the community for busy parents like myself. The New Parent Resource Guide offers an A-Z of key contacts for parents, caregivers, service providers, and health care professionals.  Working with key businesses and organizations in the community, we have also compiled much-needed articles, tips, and charts to answer all your parenting questions. The latest addition to our family is the School Age Resource Guide to serve parents of children, 3 to 18 years!  This guide answers questions about: nutrition, bullying, curriculum, building self-esteem, and much more, as well as offering a full directory of local and national resources. The website offers an “all-in-one” spot for parents to connect, add their own blog, and find needed resources in their community.  It is a site that educates and entertains and if you can't find somthing just ASK me. I am here to serve YOU!  My hope is that you connect with our members, find comfort in their words, and share your own story. My goal is to see what I can do to help make life a bit easier for you.   You are why I do what I do! I can’t wait to get to know you!  Comment below to tell me about yourself – then start blogging so we can find out what makes you get up in the morning!  Check out my blog too and I am sure you will be surprised what gets me out of bed each day!!! Jennifer -  Mom and Publisher

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