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Autism Spectrum Disorder Archive 2007

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Ann England, M.A. CCC-SLP-L
Speech-Language Pathologist
Assistant Director Diagnostic Center, Northern California

Ann has 27 years of special education experience and has extensive training and certification in the assessment and teaching of students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (e.g., TEACCH, PECS, ADOS, etc.) She participates on a multidisciplinary assessment team at the Diagnostic Center to determine if students have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She also provides the all day training “Teaching Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder” to school staff throughout northern California. Additionally, she provides onsite consultation and mentoring to school district administrators and teaching teams to assist in the development and implementation of evidence-based public school programs for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ann has served on several California Department of Education committees related to Autism Spectrum Disorders and most recently was invited to participate on the Task Force on Education and Professional Development of The Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.

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  • What causes ASD? Is there a cure for ASD? What is the prevalence of autism and who is affected?

Question A:

Do you know what causes ASD? Is there a cure for ASD?

Question B:

What is the prevalence of autism and who is affected?


Answer A:

At this time, there is no known cause or cure for autism. Do know that there is a lot of research underway worldwide. There are education and intervention approaches that may reduce some of the challenges associated with the diagnosis. The National Research Council states: “No single intervention or approach has proven to be effective for every individual with ASD.” Most professionals do agree that early intervention is important as is providing structure when planning programming. We will be discussing specific education and intervention approaches as part of this Ask-A-Specialist forum.

Answer B:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) network released data in 2007 that found about 1 in 150 8-year-old children in multiple areas of the United States had an ASD and ASDs are four times more likely to occur in boys than in girls. ASDs occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. To learn more visit:

CDC Autism Information Center
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/


  • What is autism? What is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Question:

What is autism? What is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?


Answer:

The National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) does a good job of defining autism. “ Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes problems with social interaction and communication.  Symptoms usually start before age three and can cause delays or problems in many different skills that develop from infancy to adulthood. 

Different people with autism can have very different symptoms.  Health care providers think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder, a group of disorders with similar features.  One person may have mild symptoms, while another may have serious symptoms.  But they both have an autism spectrum disorder.”

Currently, the autism spectrum disorder category includes:

  • Autistic Disorder
  • Asperger Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

In some cases, health care providers use a broader term, pervasive developmental disorder, to describe autism.  This category includes the autism spectrum disorders above, plus Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett’s Disorder.”

The Ask-A-Specialist web site uses “autism spectrum disorder” and “autism” to mean the same thing.