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Learn More > Understanding Autism

Autism is a developmental disability that affects how the brain functions, specifically those areas of the brain that control social interaction and communication skills. Boys are more likely to develop autism, and most children are diagnosed by the age of 3.

Children and adults with autism typically have difficulty in both verbal and nonverbal communication. People with autism may have difficulty relating to the outside world and may have unusual reactions to the people and objects around them. People with autism may demonstrate aggressive behavior that may cause injury to themselves or others. The disorder also may cause sensitivity to the senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

Occupational therapy can provide intervention that helps children to develop appropriate social, play, and learning skills. The therapist aids the child in achieving and maintaining abilities in normal daily tasks such as getting dressed and playing with other children.

What can an occupational therapist do?

What can parents and families do?

(Adapted from www.aota.org)