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What is Autism?

What is Autism?Autism is a developmental disorder of neurobiological origin that is defined on the basis of behavioral and developmental features. Autism varies in the severity of symptoms, the age of onset, and the presence of various features such as language delay. How autism manifests itself can differ considerably across children and within an individual child over time. Even though there are strong and consistent commonalities, especially in social deficits, there is no single behavior that is always typical of any of the autistic spectrum disorders and no behavior that would automatically exclude an individual child from diagnosis of autism.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are present from birth or very early childhood and affect essential human behaviors such as social interaction, the ability to communicate ideas and feelings, imagination, and the establishment of relationships with others. It generally effects how children learn to be social beings, to take care of themselves, and to participate in the community.

The incidence of autism in New Jersey is approximately 1 in 91.