Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The way in which people with autism learn, think, and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Early intervention can improve learning, communication and social skills, as well as underlying brain development. Below are a few facts about spectrum disorder from www.autismspeaks.org.
- An estimated one-third of people with autism are nonverbal.
- Nearly half of those with autism wander or bolt from safety.
- Drowning remains a leading cause of death for children with autism and accounts for approximately 90 percent of deaths associated with wandering or bolting by those age 14 and younger.
- Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied.
- Nearly 28 percent of 8-year-olds with ASD have self-injurious behaviors. Head banging, arm biting and skin scratching are among the most common.
- Nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job.
- Research demonstrates job activities that encourage independence reduce autism symptoms and increase daily living skills.
- Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.
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