What is Autism? – Autism Society

Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.

While there is currently no known single cause of autism, early diagnosis helps a person receive the support and services that they need, which can lead to a quality life filled with opportunity.

Characteristics & Diagnosis

Autism is characterized in the DSM-V by:

  1. Persistent differences in communication, interpersonal relationships, and social interaction across different environments

What this can look like: Being nonverbal or having atypical speech patterns, having trouble understanding nonverbal communication, difficulty making and keeping friends, difficulty maintaining typical back-and-forth conversational style

  1. Restricted and repetitive behavior, patterns, activities and interests

What this can look like: Repeating sounds or phrases (echolalia), repetitive

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National Conference – Autism Society

Autism Society of America invites you to a two-day conference with presentations and breakout discussions covering a wide range of topics related to Autism.

This year we have four theme tracks which encompass inclusion, community, innovation and much more! Our speakers will represent a variety of areas as it relates to the autism lifespan.

Questions? Contact [email protected]   

We are pleased to announce our Keynote Speaker, Gwendolyn Harshaw, with a Special Performance by her son Zayne Harshaw!

At 4 years old he was diagnosed with autism. Gwen will share how they found strength through Zayne’s gifts instead of focusing on his weaknesses.

Today, Zayne is a member of the band Blue Spectrum which has 2 other autistic members.

He taught himself to play the guitar. Music has really transformed him from a painfully shy boy to an extremely confIdent musician.

Check out our 2019 Track Themes!

Leading Toward Innovation in

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