What is Autism
Autism is a developmental disability that affects, often
severely, a person’s ability to communicate and socially
interact with others. It is four times more prevalent in
males than females.
Currently, autism is believed to affect 1 in every 166
people. The rate of people being diagnosed with autism
has increased substantially over the past two decades.
Although this may be in part due to improved diagnostic
techniques and to changes in the criteria for autism
spectrum disorders, the majority of experts agree these
changes are not enough to explain the epidemic rates at
which autism is being diagnosed.
Autism Spectrum sen hong kong Disorders is an umbrella term that includes
classic autism (also known as Kanner’s autism or Kanner’s
syndrome), Asperger’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental
Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because the number
and intensity of the symptoms people with autism display
may vary widely. However, all people with autism
demonstrate impairments in the following three areas:
communication, social relationships and restricted
patterns of behavior.
The spectrum ranges from those who are severely affected,
less able, and dependent on others to those who are of
above-average intelligence and independent, yet lacking
in social skills.
What Causes Autism?
Unfortunately, no one knows the answer. This is one of the
primary missions of
Cure Autism Now to fund the crucial and
necessary research to discover the cause of autism, in
order to design effective treatments and, eventually, find
Here is what is known so far:
There is a genetic predisposition for autism spectrum
Some brain circuits are different in a person with autism.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter important for normal brain
functioning and behavior, has been found to be elevated
in a subgroup of people with autism.
Some children with autism and related disorders have
biochemical and immunological problems.
Many experts in the field of autism – for example
Dr. Edward Ritvo of the University of California
Los Angeles – theorize that there exists a genetic
predisposition to autism spectrum disorders.
This predisposition, perhaps encoded within a certain gene,
interacts with an as-yet-unknown environmental factor or
factors and causes alterations to the immune system, the
sensory nervous system, the brain and often the
gastrointestinal tract as well. These changes then cause
the affected person to exhibit the symptoms of autism.
Autism Does Not Discriminate
Last year I went on a 5K walk at Dodger Stadium in Los
Angeles benefiting Cure Autism Now. I saw thousands of
children, their families and friends that are affected in
one way or another by autism.
There were people from all walks of life, professional
people like athletes, lawyers, doctors and people you see
everyday in your own community. People with children that
have autism, all getting together to raise money to help
find a cure.