On the Spectrum

An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. But what causes them? How should they be treated? And what do we still have to learn?


A pervasive developmental disorder, autism affects information processing in multiple ways. Many people with autism have difficulties with social interactions and communication, sensory deficits, and poor motor coordination. Autistic people often have restricted interests and engage in repetitive behaviors.

Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's syndrome is a high functioning form of autism. People with Asperger's often lack social skills, and sometimes have problems with motor regulation. However, unlike many with autism, their language and cognitive skills are largely intact.

Autism Treatments

There is no one specific treatment for autism.

Early intervention with highly structured behavioral, cognitive and communication therapies can sometimes dramatically help autistic children learn skills, but few are able to live independently as adults.