Autism for the first time

Puzzle Pieces

This is your first look at Autism, what it is, what it isn’t, how it affects the individuals who have it and their families. It is important to know that Autism is on a spectrum, in fact, it is actually termed Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. This means that it affects every individual differently. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions and concerns surrounding ASD.

How Did This Happen?

There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder. What we know is that it is something you are born with, which typically first appears in young children. Though there has been a lot in the media suggesting various sources of Autism, none of those have been empirically tested and proven to be true.

Is it curable?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is NOT a medical condition with treatments to “cure” it. It is represented by differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with Autism compared to that of neurotypical children. 

What does it look like?

Signs of Autism Grid

Social Impairments
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Wants to be alone
  • Avoids or resists physical contact
  • Does not respond to their name

Cognitive Impairments
  • Difficulty understanding emotions, whether their own or others
  • Does not or can not engage in “pretend” games
  • Gives unrelated answers to questions
  • Demonstrates little to no safety or danger awareness
Communication difficulties
  • Has no speech or delayed speech
  • Unusual reactions (over or under-sensitivity) to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel
  • Gets upset by minor changes

Repetitive Behaviors
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Flaps their hands, rocks their body, or spins in circles
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over again

What can we do about it?

Learn and grow! We are learning more and more about ASD every day, every week, every month. At Reach High we believe growth takes place as we learn. You stand at the beginning of a challenging yet wonderful journey toward understanding your child’s world as they know it. Research shows that the best approach is ABA, Applied Behavior Analysis, to teach your child the skills they need to cope with the world around them as well as equip you as a parent to be the superhero they need. 

Are there other parents I can talk to about it?

Absolutely! In addition to our own family of Reach High Parents, there are multiple community groups that you can join.