Autism is a mental health condition that is present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communication, forming relationships with other people and in using language, with abstract concepts, as well as restricted repetitive behaviors, activities, and interests. Autism is about 4.5 times more likely to affect boys than girls, and is found in all racial, ethnic, and social groups.
Autism is a "spectrum condition" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. The diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity. Each child or adult with autism is unique, so their treatment and supports plans are also unique to fit the needs of the individual as best as possible.