Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are complex developmental disabilities that typically appear during the first three years of life. Early diagnosis and intervention is an important factor in ensuring treatment through the lifespan provides maxium benefit.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with ASD typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and leisure or play activities. As a spectrum disorder; ASD affects each individual differently and at varying degrees. Today one in 150 children born in Canada will be diagnosed with and Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD, and ASD is the fastest growing developmental disability, with a startling growth rate of 17%
Autism Society of Alberta (ASA) is a grassroots organization within the autism community connecting to its’ provincial members through regional chapters and networking with agencies and associations throughout the province and nation wide.
ASA is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families and the professionals with whom they interact. The Society and its chapters share a common mission of providing information and education, as well as supporting research and advocating for programs and services for the autism community.
The cause of Autism Spectrum Disorders are unknown. Evidence suggests that there may both environmental and genetic components that impact the neurological development of the individual. Autism Spectrum Disorder is NOT caused by the emotional environment of the individual.
A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is based on observation of behaviour. Diagnosis typically follows a comprehensive assessment of behaviour and function by a diverse team of health professionals.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Disease Prevention (CDC) have created a quiz to help you learn about the typical stages of child development. Click below to get started!
1) Treatment: In Alberta there is disparity in regional services for autism related treatments and services.
2) Education: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder are in need of quality education programs – consistent throughout the province. Meaningful post secondary opportunities for adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorders are not available.
3) Employment: Individuals with ASD face serous unemployment and underemployment challenges.
4) Adults with ASD: Access and funding for comprehensive treatments, interventions and services for individuals with autism and their families are not available across the lifespan.
5) ASD Research: Funding for autism-related research, treatments and interventions are extremely limited. Research of biomedical interventions is critical to explore the underlying physiology of the disorder.
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