Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically
appears during the first three years of life. The result of a
neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain,
autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to
occur in as many as 1 in 500 individuals (
Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention 1997).

Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and
knows no
racial, ethnic, or social boundaries.

Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the
areas of social interaction and
communication skills. Children
and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and
non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or
play activities.

The disorder makes it hard for them to communicate with
others and relate to the outside world. In some cases,
aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present.

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