Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs:
In the News:
Q: What is Autism?
A: Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders may be characterized by difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. ASD may include autistic disorder (sometimes referred to as “classic autism”), Asperger's Syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in attention or motor coordination, and other physical health issues such as sleep or gastrointestinal disturbances. Some individuals with ASD may excel in visual skills, music, math and art and may or may not be academically on par with their peer group. Autism has its roots in early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 12 and 18 months of age.
Q: What causes Autism?
A: There is no one cause of Autism. Most cases involve a complex and variable combination of genetic risk and environmental factors that influence early brain development. Research has identified more than a hundred autism risk genes. Research also connects environmental risk factors involving events before and during birth. These include advanced parental age of one or both parents at time of conception, extreme prematurity and very low birth weight and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain and maternal illness during pregnancy. Exposure to high levels of pesticides and air pollution by mothers during pregnancy may also be at higher risk of having a child with ASD. These environmental variables do not cause autism in and of themselves. They appear, rather, to modestly increase risk in combination with genetic risk factors.
Q: My child has just been diagnosed or is showing early symptoms of autism. What can be done to help my child?
A: Bending Birch can help. A BCBA can help give you the tools and support for creating a strong home program for your child. Activities might include creating opportunities for your child to seek you out and communicate his/her wants and needs. A visual schedule might be implemented to support your child in structuring his/her own time and managing transitions. Play based activities may be incorporated to work on appropriate play and social skills.
Q: Are we alone? How prevalent is Autism?
A: No you are not alone, Autism Spectrum Disorders occur in approximately 1 in 68 births and is three to four times more likely in boys than girls according to the most recent research by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Q: What does the future hold for my child with Autism?
A: It is estimated that 1 in 68 children in the United States are diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. Each individual on the Spectrum is unique with unique skills, talents and abilities. Research has shown that early diagnosis and intervention offer the best opportunity to identify treatment protocols that can improve functioning and make the most of each child's ability to make progress. Bending Birch believes passionately that everyone can achieve success with the appropriate resources, support, skills and knowledge. We can help. Contact us today to schedule an individual consultation.
We believe it is important to be informed in order to make the best decisions possible for you and your family. Our clinicians and behavior technicians strive to stay current with the most up to date research available. We also want to provide you with information you might find helpful, please click the links below to read some of the most recent news regarding Autism and Brain Research.
5000 Families with genetic links to Autism to participate in Kaiser study: click here.
Early Intervention Benefits Parent- Child Interaction: click here.
Benefiting from Integrated Play Groups: click here.
Experience Autism through Carley's eyes: View the video below or visit Autism Speaks to see the entire Autism Simulation Series:
View the following videos below
To watch Dr. Chung's informative TED Talk about what we know and don't know about Autism, click the "play" button and then the "download" button.