Autism is a developmental disorder that is usually detected early in life. In America it is believed to affect about 1% of the population, although some believe the incidence is increasing. This may be due to increased awareness and earlier diagnosis. Autism may share some genetic components with several other disorders including ADHD, Bi-polar, Depression, and Schizophrenia. If you have a child with symptoms the fall along the autism spectrum, remember that you did not choose your parents or your genetics so this is not your fault. It is a complex neurobiological condition that impacts communication, behaviors, and social relationships. It is characterized by altered nerve cells that impact cognitive (thinking skills) although the reason this happens is not yet clearly understood. Children on this spectrum often have difficulty with completing basic everyday tasks, exhibit hampered social development, and may struggle with inattention as well as altered sensory perception. Early intervention can help teach the child strategies for success. More tomorrow.