Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurological disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to the people and world around them. ASD can affect behaviour, social interactions, and one’s ability to communicate. ASD crosses all cultural, ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic boundaries. (Credit: Autism Ontario)

Children with autism have difficulties with:

  • Communicating with others in a social manner
  • Restricted interests and/or repetitive behaviours

Autism spectrum disorder has varying severity and affects each child in different ways.

People with autism will experience differences related to

  • the number, type and severity of symptoms
  • age and gender
  • social factors

What are the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

How common is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

  • Affects 1 in 59 children
  • Boys are affected more than girls (4:1)

What is the cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

There is not one single cause for autism spectrum disorder. Autism is influenced by a variety of factors. It the vast majority of cases, it is not possible to attribute a single factor as the cause.

Contributing factors include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Neurobiological Factors
  • Environmental factors

Read more about the causes of ASD here.

What to expect at a diagnostic assessment for autism spectrum disorder:

  • Full medical history
  • Review of developmental milestones and trajectory
  • Play-based observation
  • Review of any supporting documents from therapists, teachers or other professionals (please bring these to your appointment)

What programs and services are available to children with autism spectrum disorder?

While there is no cure for autism, people’s symptoms, abilities and experiences may improve over time with the help of evidence-based therapies and interventions.

Read here about developing an ASD program for your child.

Remember that programming for ASD is not 'one size fits all.' Children will benefit from an individualized approach.

Funded Supports for Autism

Community Service Providers*

*This list may not be comprehensive and is subject to change

Camps and Community Programs

Funding supports for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder:

(Qualification for the programs below may be based on severity and not all children will qualify)

At home learning and resources

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