Web Extra: Autism Info

Web Extra: Autism Info

A unique Web site designed for parents of autistic children allows parents and professionals learn more about the disorder through a video glossary.
What is autism?
Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is a disorder that is usually first diagnosed in early childhood. It often involves communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviors.  There is currently no cure for autism.
Symptoms
Symptoms can range dramatically.  A hallmark feature is impaired social interaction.  Children with autism might have problems talking, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may have to line up their pencils before they can pay attention, or they may say the same sentence again and again to calm themselves down. They may flap their arms to tell you they are happy, or they might hurt themselves to tell you they are not.  Some people with autism never learn how to talk.
Treatment
Educational/behavioral interventions use therapists in highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills.  Family counseling for the parents and siblings can also help.
Medications: Doctors often prescribe antidepressant medication to handle symptoms of anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Anti-psychotic medications, anticonvulsant drugs, and stimulant drug for those with ADD are often prescribed as well.
Other therapies: Several controversial therapies or interventions are available for autistic children.
Local autism resources: