What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a complex condition that affects people in different ways, and its symptoms can range from mild to severe.

reuben kesherim
Ruben Kesherim
April 28, 2024

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

What Is Autism?

Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior.


The symptoms of autism can be divided into two categories: social communication and behavior.

Social Communication

People with autism may have difficulty with social communication, which includes:

  • Difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as making eye contact, facial expressions, and body language
  • Difficulty with understanding and using gestures, such as pointing
  • Difficulty with developing and maintaining relationships
  • Difficulty with understanding and responding to social cues, such as tone of voice and sarcasm


People with autism may also exhibit repetitive behaviors or have restricted interests, which includes:

  • Repetitive movements, such as hand flapping or rocking
  • Insistence on sameness, such as needing to follow a strict routine
  • Fixated interests, such as an intense interest in a particular topic
  • Sensory sensitivities, such as being sensitive to loud noises or certain textures


The exact cause of autism is unknown, but research suggests that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In fact, a new study finds chemicals in crib mattresses are linked to autism.

Genetic Factors

Studies have shown that autism has a strong genetic component. It is estimated that up to 90% of the risk for autism is due to genetic factors.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as prenatal exposure to toxins or infections, may also play a role in the development of autism.


Diagnosing autism can be challenging because there is no medical test for it. Instead, doctors rely on observation and evaluation of a person's behavior and development.


There is no cure for autism, but early intervention can help improve outcomes. Treatment for autism typically involves a combination of therapies, such as:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medication

What Does Autism Do To A Person?

Autism can significantly impact a person's life. It can make it difficult for them to communicate effectively with others and understand social norms, which can lead to challenges in building relationships and making friends.

what is autism

Additionally, people with autism may struggle with sensory processing, finding certain sounds or textures overwhelming or uncomfortable.

These challenges can cause stress and anxiety, leading to behavioral issues such as meltdowns or shutdowns.

However, it is important to remember that every person with autism is unique and experiences the disorder differently. With the right support and interventions, many people with autism are able to lead fulfilling lives and achieve their goals.

How Does Autism Work?

Autism is a complex disorder that affects the way the brain processes information. It is believed that people with autism have differences in their brain structure and function, which can lead to difficulties in social communication and behavior.

The exact mechanisms behind these differences are still not fully understood, but research has shown that there are several areas of the brain that may be affected by autism.

For example, studies have found that there may be differences in the way that the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in processing emotions, functions in people with autism.

There may also be differences in the way that different parts of the brain communicate with each other. For example, research has shown that there may be reduced connectivity between different areas of the brain involved in social communication and understanding.

It's important to note that while there are commonalities among people with autism, every person's experience is unique. Some people with autism may have strengths in certain areas, such as visual thinking or attention to detail.

By understanding how autism works at a neurological level, researchers hope to develop better treatments and interventions to help people with autism live their best lives.

What Is A Person With Autism Like?

It's important to understand that every autistic person is unique, with their own set of strengths and challenges. While some individuals with autism may struggle with social communication and sensory processing, others may excel in areas such as music or math.

People with autism may also have different ways of thinking and learning. For example, some people with autism may be visual thinkers, meaning they process information better through pictures or diagrams rather than words. Others may have a special interest in a particular topic, which can lead to a deep level of knowledge and expertise.

It's important not to make assumptions about what an autistic person is like based on stereotypes or limited understanding of the disorder. Instead, it's best to approach each individual with empathy and an open mind, recognizing that they are a complex and multifaceted human being just like everyone else.

If you're interested in learning more about autism, you can find lots of resources on cdc.gov, healthline.com, and other medical publications.

If you're interested in seeing some interesting autism quotes, read this article published by Apex ABA.


Autism is a complex disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. While there is no cure, early intervention and treatment can help improve outcomes. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have autism, it is important to seek an evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional.