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About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Michigan Autism Program

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a life-long neurological disability that is characterized by significant social-communication and behavioral deficits. The severity of this disorder can vary greatly from one individual to another. The term "spectrum" refers to this range of social-communication and behavioral deficits.

Each individual with ASD has a unique set of characteristics but most will have difficulty socializing with others, communicating verbally or non-verbally, and behaving appropriately in a variety of settings. Left untreated, an individual with ASD may not develop effective and/or appropriate social skills. If a child or adult is not making friends, sustaining a conversation, able to play in an imaginative way, inflexible with routines and/or overly preoccupied with certain objects, it is important to learn the cause of these behaviors and obtain supports and services to help. For more information on ASD, please reference the DSM-5 ASD factsheet.