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HeARTs for Autism®
Supporting Families and Raising Awareness for the Autism Spectrum Disorders

About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder which is classified in the DSM-IV in the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD.) PDD has five major categories: Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome (sometimes called High Functioning Autism), Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, and PDD, Not-Otherwise-Specified (PDD-NOS.)

Autism is a Spectrum Condition – deficits in communication, social ability and emotional/sensory regulation vary to great degrees in persons with Autism. Although 2 people may have the same diagnosis with some obvious similarities, the manifestation of their disorder can be very diverse. Some experts include ADD / ADHD on the Spectrum as well. People affected are from every ethnic and economic group.

Each person on the Spectrum is truly unique! Life is difficult for persons with ASD and their families - imagine not being able to clearly communicate what you need or want; or being overwhelmed by sensory input; or lacking understanding of how to interact socially.

Impairments exhibited in Autism include: disorders in Communication, Social Interaction, Emotional Regulation, Sensory Processing, cooperative and imaginative play, repetitive behaviors and fixations, and behavioral processing. Additionally, many experience physiological issues such as digestive disorders and fine motor problems.

What can I do? Understand, in the midst of this condition is a beautiful person needing and wanting to be loved and accepted, and there is a family striving to help them. Learn about neurological conditions like this. Help to support and create an accepting community with proper medical, educational, therapeutic and family services. Help to overcome prejudice and fear of those who are differently-abled. Vote, volunteer and/or offer resources to those working to improve the quality of life for ASD persons!

Please visit this link for further explanation on the facets of the diagnosis:

HeARTs for Autism artwork

Screaming Heart
Kevin, age 7

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