Currently 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. Diagnoses such as PDD-NOS and Asperger's Syndrome are now under the same umbrella of the autism diagnosis. The causes are unknown except for research that supports a genetic link. According to the CDC, autism spectrum disorders are 80% linked to inherited genes. The symptoms of autism vary from person to person, can very in severity, and can be diagnosed in some as young as 18 months old. Some of the symptoms may include: limited eye contact, little reciprocal interactions of facial or vocal expressions, no development or a loss of vocalizations, babbling or words, no response to their name, limited pointing to objects of interest, resistance to changes in routine, repetitive patterns of behavior (e.g. lining up toys, hand flapping, etc), repetitive use of words or phrases (echolalia), and/or intense responses to sensory stimuli (e.g. lights, sounds, tastes, textures, smells, etc). More information can be found at www.autismspeaks.org
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