Helping Your Child with Autism Thrive - (2023)


There are many things you can do to help a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) overcome their challenges. These parenting tips, treatments, and services can help.

Helping Your Child with Autism Thrive - (1)

A parent's guide to autism treatment and support

If you've recently learned that your child has or might have autism spectrum disorder, you're probably wondering and worrying about what comes next. No parent is ever prepared to hear that a child is anything other than happy and healthy, and an ASD diagnosis can be particularly frightening. You may be unsure about how to best help your child, or confused by conflicting treatment advice. Or you may have been told that ASD is an incurable, lifelong condition, leaving you concerned that nothing you do will make a difference.

While it is true that ASD is not something a person simply “grows out of,” there are many treatments that can help children acquire new skills and overcome a wide variety of developmental challenges. From free government services to in-home behavioral therapy and school-based programs, assistance is available to meet your child's special needs and help them learn, grow, and thrive in life.

When you’re looking after an autistic child, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Being emotionally strong allows you to be the best parent you can be to your child in need. These parenting tips can help by making life with an autistic child easier.

Don't wait for a diagnosis

As the parent of a child with ASD or related developmental delays, the best thing you can do is to start treatment right away. Seek help as soon as you suspect something's wrong. Don't wait to see if your child will catch up later or outgrow the problem. Don't even wait for an official diagnosis. The earlier children with autism spectrum disorder get help, the greater their chance of treatment success. Early intervention is the most effective way to speed up your child's development and reduce the symptoms of autism over the lifespan.

[Read: Does My Child Have Autism?]

When your child has autism

Learn about autism. The more you know about autism spectrum disorder, the better equipped you'll be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions.

Become an expert on your child. Figure out what triggers your kid's challenging or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful or frightening? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, you'll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing or modifying situations that cause difficulties.

Accept your child, quirks and all. Rather than focusing on how your autistic child is different from other children and what he or she is “missing,” practice acceptance. Enjoy your kid's special quirks, celebrate small successes, and stop comparing your child to others. Feeling unconditionally loved and accepted will help your child more than anything else.

Don't give up. It's impossible to predict the course of autism spectrum disorder. Don't jump to conclusions about what life is going to be like for your child. Like everyone else, people with autism have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities.

Helping your child with autism thrive tip 1: Provide structure and safety

Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:

Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what they've learned in one setting (such as the therapist's office or school) to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your child's environment is the best way to reinforce learning. Find out what your child's therapists are doing and continue their techniques at home. Explore the possibility of having therapy take place in more than one place in order to encourage your child to transfer what he or she has learned from one environment to another. It's also important to be consistent in the way you interact with your child and deal with challenging behaviors.

Stick to a schedule. Autistic children tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime. Try to keep disruptions to this routine to a minimum. If there is an unavoidable schedule change, prepare your child for it in advance.

Reward good behavior. Positive reinforcement can go a long way with children with ASD, so make an effort to “catch them doing something good.” Praise them when they act appropriately or learn a new skill, being very specific about what behavior they're being praised for. Also look for other ways to reward them for good behavior, such as giving them a sticker or letting them play with a favorite toy.

Create a home safety zone. Carve out a private space in your home where your child can relax, feel secure, and be safe. This will involve organizing and setting boundaries in ways your child can understand. Visual cues can be helpful (colored tape marking areas that are off limits, labeling items in the house with pictures). You may also need to safety proof the house, particularly if your child is prone to tantrums or other self-injurious behaviors.

Tip 2: Find nonverbal ways to connect

Connecting with an autistic child can be challenging, but you don't need to talk—or even touch—in order to communicate and bond. You communicate by the way you look at your child, by the tone of your voice, your body language – and possibly the way you touch your child. Your child is also communicating with you, even if he or she never speaks. You just need to learn the language.

Look for nonverbal cues. If you are observant and aware, you can learn to pick up on the nonverbal cues that autistic children use to communicate. Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when they're tired, hungry, or want something.

(Video) Autism Spectrum Disorder Help Guide for Parents

Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. It's only natural to feel upset when you are misunderstood or ignored, and it's no different for children with ASD. When children with ASD act out, it's often because you're not picking up on their nonverbal cues. Throwing a tantrum is their way of communicating their frustration and getting your attention.

[Read: Autism Behavior Problems]

Make time for fun. A child coping with ASD is still a child. For both autistic children and their parents, there needs to be more to life than therapy. Schedule playtime when your child is most alert and awake. Figure out ways to have fun together by thinking about the things that make your child smile, laugh, and come out of her/his shell. Your child is likely to enjoy these activities most if they don't seem therapeutic or educational. There are tremendous benefits that result from your enjoyment of your child's company and from your child's enjoyment of spending unpressured time with you. Play is an essential part of learning for all children and shouldn't feel like work.

Pay attention to your child's sensory sensitivities. Many children with ASD are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Some children with autism are “under-sensitive” to sensory stimuli. Figure out what sights, sounds, smells, movements, and tactile sensations trigger your kid's “bad” or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, you'll be better at troubleshooting problems, preventing situations that cause difficulties, and creating successful experiences.

Tip 3: Create a personalized autism treatment plan

With so many different treatments available, it can be tough to figure out which approach is right for your child. Making things more complicated, you may hear different or even conflicting recommendations from parents, teachers, and doctors.

When putting together a treatment plan for your child, keep in mind that there is no single treatment that works for everyone. Each person on the autism spectrum is unique, with different strengths and weaknesses.

Your child's treatment should be tailored according to their individual needs. You know your child best, so it's up to you to make sure those needs are being met. You can do that by asking yourself the following questions:

What are my child's strengths – and their weaknesses?

What behaviors are causing the most problems? What important skills is my child lacking?

How does my child learn best – through seeing, listening, or doing?

What does my child enjoy – and how can those activities be used in treatment and to bolster learning?

Finally, keep in mind that no matter what treatment plan is chosen, your involvement is vital to success. You can help your child get the most out of treatment by working hand-in-hand with the treatment team and following through with the therapy at home. (This is why your well-being is essential!)

A good treatment plan will:

  • Build on your child's interests.
  • Offer a predictable schedule.
  • Teach tasks as a series of simple steps.
  • Actively engage your child's attention in highly structured activities.
  • Provide regular reinforcement of behavior.
  • Involve the parents.

Choosing autism treatments

There are many different options and approaches to ASD treatment, including behavior therapy, speech-language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional therapy.

While you don’t have to limit your child to just one treatment at a time, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to address everything at once. Instead, start by focusing on your child’s most severe symptoms and pressing needs.

[Read: Autism Treatments, Therapies, and Interventions].

Tip 4: Find help and support

Caring for a child with autism can demand a lot of energy and time. There may be days when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or discouraged. Parenting isn't ever easy, and raising a child with special needs is even more challenging. In order to be the best parent you can be, it's essential that you take care of yourself.

Don't try to do everything on your own. You don't have to! There are many places that families of children with ASD can turn to for advice, a helping hand, advocacy, and support:

(Video) Autism: causes and treatment

ADS support groups – Joining an ASD support group is a great way to meet other families dealing with the same challenges you are. Parents can share information, get advice, and lean on each other for emotional support. Just being around others in the same boat and sharing their experience can go a long way toward reducing the isolation many parents feel after receiving a child's diagnosis.

Respite care – Every parent needs a break now and again. And for parents coping with the added stress of ASD, this is especially true. In respite care, another caregiver takes over temporarily, giving you a break for a few hours, days, or even weeks.

[Read: Respite Care]

Individual, marital, or family counseling – If stress, anxiety, or depression is getting to you, you may want to see a therapist of your own. Therapy is a safe place where you can talk honestly about everything you're feeling—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Marriage or family therapy can also help you work out problems that the challenges of life with an autistic child are causing in your spousal relationship or with other family members.

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Free U.S. government services for children with autism

Under the U.S. federal law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with disabilities—including those with ASD—are eligible for a range of free or low-cost services. Under this provision, children in need and their families may receive medical evaluations, psychological services, speech therapy, physical therapy, parent counseling and training, assisted technology devices, and other specialized services.

Children under the age of 10 do not need an autism diagnosis to receive free services under IDEA. If they are experiencing a developmental delay (including delays in communication or social development), they are automatically eligible for early intervention and special education services.

Early intervention services (birth through age two)

Infants and toddlers through the age of two receive assistance through the Early Intervention program. In order to qualify, your child must first undergo a free evaluation. If the assessment reveals a developmental problem, you will work with early intervention treatment providers to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). An IFSP describes your child's needs and the specific services he or she will receive.

For autism, an IFSP would include a variety of behavior, physical, speech, and play therapies. It would focus on preparing autistic kids for the eventual transition to school. Early intervention services are typically conducted in the home or at a child care center.

(Video) An Autistic Parenting Guide by an Autistic Parent: "Autism, Moon"

To locate local early intervention services for your child, ask your pediatrician for a referral or use the resources listed in the Resources section at the end of the article.

Special education services (age three and older)

Children over the age of three receive assistance through school-based programs. As with early intervention, special education services are tailored to your child's individual needs. Autistic children are often placed with other developmentally delayed kids in small groups where they can receive more individual attention and specialized instruction. However, depending on their abilities, they may also spend at least part of the school day in a regular classroom. The goal is to place kids in the “least restrictive environment” possible where they are still able to learn.

If you'd like to pursue special education services, your local school system will first need to evaluate your child. Based on this assessment, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be drafted. An IEP outlines the educational goals for your child for the school year. Additionally, it describes the special services or supports the school will provide your child in order to meet those goals.

Know your child's rights

As the parent of a child with ASD, you have a legal right to:

  • Be involved in developing your child's IEP from start to finish
  • Disagree with the school system's recommendations
  • Seek an outside evaluation for your child
  • Invite anyone you want—from a relative to your child's doctor—to be on the IEP team
  • Request an IEP meeting at any time if you feel your child's needs are not being met
  • Free or low-cost legal representation if you can't come to an agreement with the school

Caring for a child with autism when you are autistic

Research indicates that there is a genetic component to autism. However, many parents only discover they’re autistic when they research and obtain a formal diagnosis for their own child. If you’re autistic, you might face unique challenges when it comes to raising children who are also neurodivergent. Here are a few tips that may help:

Don’t hide your identity. Let your child get to know the real you. If you have certain quirks, such as repetitive behaviors or unusual body movements, don’t feel pressured to mask them in front of your child. By being yourself, you’re encouraging your autistic child to be themselves around you and creating an opportunity to bond over your similarities. You can also talk with your child about how neurotypical individuals may react to your behaviors and how to handle negative reactions. Aim to offer the type of guidance you could’ve used when you were young.

Remember to care for yourself. Caring for a child can be challenging if you struggle with sensory needs or require a highly structured lifestyle. For example, if you’re sensitive to sounds, a crying child may be a constant source of stress and discomfort. A child’s sudden tantrums can make it hard for you to stick to a consistent schedule, creating further frustration. To protect your own sense of well-being, it’s important for you to adopt coping habits that help reduce your stress in these types of situations.

[Read: Autism in Adults: Recognizing the Signs, Living with a Diagnosis]

If certain tasks seem overwhelming, look to other people for support. For example, if communicating with doctors and teachers poses a challenge, a parenting mentor or other parents with autism might be able to help you come up with solutions.

Build on your strengths. Everyone has specific strengths, and you’re no exception. Consider how your skills and talents can help you establish a supportive household for your child. Do you excel at visual thinking or design? Create educational posters for your child. Are you able to focus for long periods of time? Use that focus to research and study up on parenting practices and coping strategies. Are you good at problem-solving? Use your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to overcome challenges around the house.

Be patient with yourself and your child. Be willing to accept that you both have plenty of time to grow and learn. You might experience some setbacks. Perhaps, you lose your temper and feel ashamed by your reaction. Or maybe your child has a hard time fitting in with peers when they start school. Resolve to learn from bad experiences and find solutions, even if you have to make multiple attempts. When one of you does make progress, remember to acknowledge the growth. Offer your child praise and celebrate your personal successes as well.

Authors: Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Ted Hutman, Ph.D.

Ted Hutman, Ph.D. is Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Santa Monica, CA.

    Get more help

    The Autism Revolution – Whole body strategies for making life all it can be (Harvard Health Books)

    Living with Autism – Including how to cope with stress on the family, make the home safe, and deal with sibling issues. (Autism Society of America)

    Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent's Guide to Research (PDF) – Guide to choosing treatments for your children. (Organization for Autism Research)

    Parent Guide to IDEA – Guide to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the U.S. (National Center for Learning Disabilities)

    Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) – Learn all about IEPs in the U.S. for kids with autism and other developmental issues. (KidsHealth)

    How is Autism Treated? – Therapies and treatments. (Autism Speaks)

    Hotlines and support

    In the U.S.: Call the Autism Society National Helpline at 1-800-328-8476.

    UK: Call the Child Autism UK helpline at 01344 882248 or find help and support at The National Autistic Society.

    Australia: Call the Early Intervention helpdesk in Perth at 1800 778 581 or Get support for your child from NDIS.

    (Video) Help Guide and Support Your Little One

    Canada: Call the Autism Canada Family Support Representative at 1-800-983-1795.

    New Zealand: Find helplines and support in your area at Autism New Zealand.

    Last updated: October 7, 2022


    How can I help my autistic child answer? ›

    So try to fade back that tangible reinforcement as quickly as you can. Now once the child can answer

    What are 5 strategies used to work with a child with autism? ›

    The 5 Best Teaching Strategies for Autism
    • Support Routines and Transitions. Most children with autism are sensitive to abrupt changes in routine and will learn best in routine situations. ...
    • Use Visual Cues. ...
    • Use Special Interests as a Gateway to Teaching Skills. ...
    • Incorporate Sensory Tools. ...
    • Support social skills practice.
    5 Nov 2019

    How can I help a child with autism learn more effectively? ›

    Here are six tips to help your students with autism thrive in the classroom.
    1. Avoid sensory overload. Many unexpected things can be distracting to students with autism. ...
    2. Use visuals. ...
    3. Be predictable. ...
    4. Keep language concrete. ...
    5. Directly teach social skills. ...
    6. Treat students as individuals.
    15 Mar 2016

    What is the autism behavior checklist? ›

    The Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC) is a list of questions about a child's behaviors. The ABC was published in 1980 (Krug et al., 1980) and is part of a broader tool, the Autism Screening Instrument for Educational Planning (ASIEP) (Krug et al., 1978).

    How do I teach my autistic child a yes no question? ›

    How to Teach Yes No Questions to Kids with Autism
    1. Use Visual Support for Yes and No. ...
    2. Use Simple Yes/No Question Forms. ...
    3. Start with Yes, Then Move to No. ...
    4. Fade Your Support Over Time. ...
    5. Switch It Up.

    How can I help my child answer questions? ›

    Tips to help your child answer questions

    Keep the question word the same and offer prompts such as giving 2 options. Use visuals to help children answer retell questions. Focus on here and now questions.

    What are good activities for autism? ›

    Hobbies such as collecting stamps, playing cards or board games, drawing and photography can also provide opportunities for enjoyment, as well as increased self-confidence and motivation individuals on the spectrum.

    What games are good for autistic child? ›

    Best Games for Children with Autism. I Never Forget a Face Memory Game This game is great for memory and also for recognizing and recognizing faces. Feelmo Speaking Cards These are good for helping teach emotions and feelings, and learning to identify and express them.

    What are the top three interventions for a child with autism? ›

    The different types of evidence-based interventions include: Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Treatment and education of autistic and related communication handicapped children (TEACCH)

    When does autism get easier? ›

    A new study found that around 30 percent of young children with autism have less severe autism symptoms at age 6 than they did at age 3, with some children losing their autism diagnoses entirely.

    How do you motivate a child with autism? ›

    Incorporate learning tasks into preferred topics and activities. Plan tasks and activities that result in meaningful outcomes from the perspective of the learner. Vary tasks and activities frequently as opposed to requiring boring repetition. Conversely, capture opportunities to expand learning when interest is high.

    What is the best learning environment for a child with autism? ›

    Children with autism thrive in a structured and predicable environment. Establish routines early on and keep it as consistent as possible. In a world that's ever changing, routine and structure provide great comfort and support to a child on the autism spectrum. Define routines clearly and review routines daily.

    What is the most common problem in autism? ›

    Social anxiety – or extreme fear of new people, crowds and social situations – is especially common among people with autism. In addition, many people with autism have difficulty controlling anxiety once something triggers it.

    Should a child with autism go to normal school? ›

    Can children with autism attend regular school? Of course they can, but it is important to have accommodations in place that support the special learning needs of a child on the spectrum.

    What is the future of autistic child? ›

    Just like neurotypical individuals, the future of people with ASD depends on their strengths, passions and skillsets. It is important to understand that a diagnosis of ASD does not mean that your child cannot make friends, date, go to college, get married, become a parent, and/or have a satisfying lucrative career.

    How do you teach a child the difference between yes and no? ›


    When should a child be able to answer yes no questions? ›

    By 30 months (or 2 ½ years of age), most children can say yes or no to simple questions. To teach a child how to respond to a yes/no question, there are two elements. First, they have to understand the question. So to start, we make the question very simple with visuals.

    What are the 3 main symptoms of autism? ›

    Main signs of autism

    finding it hard to understand what others are thinking or feeling. getting very anxious about social situations. finding it hard to make friends or preferring to be on your own.

    Can parents cause speech delay? ›

    Delays can also be caused by neglect, abuse, or an event or circumstance that was really disruptive to development. These are atypical scenarios though that we rarely encounter. For the average parent doing their best, you can rest assured that your child's speech or language delay is definitely not your fault.

    What do autistic children like doing? ›

    Science fiction and fantasy are often of great interest to people with autism. Depending on their interest levels and abilities, people on the spectrum may learn every detail of a particular "universe," write their own stories, watch and rewatch movies, read comics, attend cons, or even build their own costumes.

    How can you treat autism at home? ›

    Helping your child with autism thrive tip 1: Provide structure and safety
    1. Be consistent. ...
    2. Stick to a schedule. ...
    3. Reward good behavior. ...
    4. Create a home safety zone. ...
    5. Look for nonverbal cues. ...
    6. Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. ...
    7. Make time for fun. ...
    8. Pay attention to your child's sensory sensitivities.

    Is TV good for autistic kids? ›

    Auditory and Visual Teaching Is Ideal for Autistic Children

    Autistic people often learn best with their eyes and ears, while words may not sink in. Carefully curated TV and video watching can help a child build knowledge and skills that can be used in school or the community.

    What do you do with an autistic child outside? ›

    6 Classic outdoor activities for children with autism
    1. Obstacle Course. The great outdoors provides the most awesome of obstacle courses. ...
    2. Head for the Playground. Who doesn't love a playground? ...
    3. Hide N' Seek. This game just never gets old. ...
    4. Treasure Hunt. ...
    5. Water Therapy. ...
    6. Rolling Along.
    3 Dec 2021

    What is the most effective therapy for autism? ›

    The most common developmental therapy for people with ASD is Speech and Language Therapy. Speech and Language Therapy helps to improve the person's understanding and use of speech and language. Some people with ASD communicate verbally.

    Can you outgrow autism? ›

    Officially, the Answer Is "No" In other words, says the DSM, autistic symptoms start early and continue throughout life, though adults may be able to "mask" their symptoms—at least in some situations. But according to the DSM, it is impossible to "grow out" of autism.

    What happens if autism is not treated? ›

    Adults who have not received appropriate treatment may have trouble living independently, may be unemployed, and may struggle with relationships. Autism can also impact physical and mental health, according to the 2017 National Autism Indicators Report: Developmental Disability Services and Outcomes in Adulthood.

    What are good activities for autism? ›

    Hobbies such as collecting stamps, playing cards or board games, drawing and photography can also provide opportunities for enjoyment, as well as increased self-confidence and motivation individuals on the spectrum.

    What are children with autism usually good at? ›

    Autistic children are often strong in areas like visual, rule-based and interest-based thinking. A developmental assessment or an IQ test can identify autistic children's thinking and learning strengths. You can develop autistic children's skills by working with their strengths.

    How do you support someone with autism? ›

    Support your friend if they ask for help. Be sensitive to what they want and need, not just how you think they should improve or behave. Try not to talk over or about them when others are around. Help them work on social skills by trying to engage them in conversations with yourself and others.

    How do you help an autistic child with a meltdown? ›

    Strategies to consider include distraction, diversion, helping the person use calming strategies such as fiddle toys or listening to music, removing any potential triggers, and staying calm yourself.

    What do autistic children like doing? ›

    Science fiction and fantasy are often of great interest to people with autism. Depending on their interest levels and abilities, people on the spectrum may learn every detail of a particular "universe," write their own stories, watch and rewatch movies, read comics, attend cons, or even build their own costumes.

    How do you motivate a child with autism? ›

    Incorporate learning tasks into preferred topics and activities. Plan tasks and activities that result in meaningful outcomes from the perspective of the learner. Vary tasks and activities frequently as opposed to requiring boring repetition. Conversely, capture opportunities to expand learning when interest is high.

    What are the weakness of an autistic child? ›

    Kids with autism experience “deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to the absence of interest in peers (DSM-5).”

    What are the weaknesses of autism? ›

    Common Challenges
    • social phobia.
    • excessive worry/rumination.
    • obsessive compulsive behaviour.
    • hyper-vigilance, or seeming “shell shocked”
    • phobias.
    • avoidance behaviours.
    • rigid routines and resistance to change.
    • stimming and/or self-injurious behaviour.

    Do autistic people have empathy? ›

    Every person living with autism is unique; some may struggle with empathy while others may feel completely overwhelmed by other people's feelings, and then there is everyone in between. It seems that autistic expression of empathy may be atypical.

    How do autistic people think? ›

    Autistic people may act in a different way to other people

    find it hard to understand how other people think or feel. find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable. get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events. take longer to understand information.

    How Do You talk to an autistic child? ›

    Communication and interaction tips for ASD
    1. Be patient. ...
    2. Teach the child how to express anger without being too aggressive. ...
    3. Be persistent but resilient. ...
    4. Always stay positive. ...
    5. Ignore irritating attention-getting behavior. ...
    6. Interact through physical activity. ...
    7. Be affectionate and respectful. ...
    8. Show your love and interest.

    How do you encourage an autistic person when they are struggling? ›

    For all stages, the autistic learner will be more likely to cope if the following key strategies are in place:
    1. Say less (see Communication section)
    2. Use a visual timetable (see Visual Supports section)
    3. Practise and prepare.
    4. Provide a safe space (see NAIT Safe Space Guidance)
    5. Ask for help.

    What triggers autism meltdowns? ›

    What triggers autistic meltdowns?
    • Sensory overload or understimulation. This is when a child is sensitive to sound, touch, taste, smell, visuals or movements.
    • Changes in routine or dealing with an unexpected change. ...
    • Anxiety or anxious feelings.
    • Being unable to describe what they need or want.

    What triggers an autistic person? ›

    A common question after an autism diagnosis is what is the cause of autism. We know that there's no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences. These influences appear to increase the risk that a child will develop autism.


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