Among the persons supported by Community Systems, Inc. with developmental disabilities are persons with autistic disorder.
Autistic disorder is a developmental disability which affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction. Autistic disorder is usually evident before age 3 and will adversely affect a young child's educational performance. Children with autistic disorder may engage in repetitive activities, display stereotypical movements, resist environmental change, resist change in daily routines, and have unusual responses to sensory experiences (from the definition in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Responses can include a range of challenging behaviors.
Children who share some of these characteristics, but do not meet the full criteria for autistic disorder may be diagnosed as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder, or PDD. The causes of both PDD and autistic disorder are unknown.
Autistic disorder, which affects more men than women, affects persons lifelong. They may continue to have limited if any language skills and continue exhibiting the characteristics described above. With special supports, adults with autism can develop alternative, positive methods of non-verbal communication, live, work, and participate in their community. CSI helps many persons to do so.