UM-NSU CARD

What is Autism

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder which affects the way the brain develops and processes information. ASD is characterized by impaired social interactions, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests.

ASD is considered a “spectrum” disorder because it varies widely in its specific behaviors and severity from one person to another. Some individuals present with such mild symptoms that the disorder may go largely unnoticed by others. In more significantly affected individuals, life-long support and care may be needed. Symptoms can also vary by age and developmental level, with younger individuals often displaying different symptoms than older individuals. In all cases, individuals with ASD or other related conditions can benefit from early and appropriate treatment.