April is National Autism Month and in honor of all the special children diagnosed, below are five facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder from the National Autism Association:
1. Autism was first described in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist who is considered the "Father of Child Psychiatry."
2. Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3. The symptoms and severity is different for each child therefore the disorder is considered to be a range of abilities.
3. Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.
4. Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls. Its prevalence is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status. Since autism was first diagnosed in the U.S. the incidence has climbed to an alarming 1 in 68 children in the U.S.
5. There is no cure for Autism, however many therapies exist to help the child cope or even overcome many symptoms including Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Animal Therapy.