CKSS Special Education: Autism
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life: it is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain.
Autism impacts the typical development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. They find it hard to communicate with others and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behaviour may be present. Persons with autism may exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking), unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. Individuals may also experience sensitivities in sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the most common developmental disabilities. Based on recent studies by Canadian researchers, the prevalence rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is 1 in 94*. In Ontario, there is an estimated 100,000 individuals with ASD. Yet most of the public, including many professionals in the medical, educational, and vocational fields, are still unaware of how autism affects people and how they can effectively work with individuals with autism.
(Source: Autism Ontario)