Autism Home > Child Autism

What Causes Child Autism?

Scientists aren't certain of the autism causes, but it's likely that both genetics and environment play a role.

Treatment for Child Autism

There is no cure for child autism. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement.
The ideal autism treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that target the core symptoms of the disorder:
  • Impaired social interaction
  • Obsessive or repetitive routines and interests
  • Problems with verbal and nonverbal communication.
Most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.

Prognosis for Child Autism

For many, child autism symptoms improve with treatment and with age. Some people with the condition grow up to lead normal or near-normal lives. Children whose language skills regress early in life, usually before the age of three, appear to be at risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity.
During adolescence, some people with child autism may become depressed or experience behavioral problems. Parents of these children should be ready to adjust treatment for their child as needed.

Statistics for Child Autism

Child autism is one of the most common developmental disabilities. Individuals with the disorder are of all races and ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Current estimates suggest that approximately 400,000 individuals in the United States have autism.
Child autism is three to four times more likely to affect boys than girls. It occurs in individuals of all levels of intelligence. Approximately 75 percent are of low intelligence, while 10 percent may demonstrate high intelligence in specific areas, such as math.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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