Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Is It?

Brooke Swier Schloss
Estate Planning & Family Law Attorney

According to the Autism Science Foundation, Autism was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist, in 1943 when he noticed eleven children who showed a lack of interest in other people however an "unusual interest" in their environment. Dr. Kanner was ahead of his time; he was able to remove autism from being classified as a mental illness.

While we do not know the cause of autism, we do know two things: 1) genetics most likely play a part and 2) there have not been any conclusive studies that show it is caused by vaccines. In fact, scientist now believe there may be up to fifty (50) genes that could cause autism. There is no cure for autism but with early intervention and treatment, symptoms can be improved and difficulties can be overcome that allow the child to live a happy and productive life.

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