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What is Autism?

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by:


  • Social Impairments

  • Cognitive Impairments

  • Communication Difficulties

  • Repetitive Behaviors


According to the Centers for Disease Control, Autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States. Some children with autism do not show signs of having the disorder until the age of 2 or 3 when they begin to display socialization or behavioral difficulties.

 Early Signs of Pediatric Autism

  • Stops responding to their name (appears to be deaf)

  • Lacks interest in past once-loved objects or activities, including playing “pretend” games with siblings or friends 

  • Has obsessive &/or unusual interests 

  • Avoids eye contact or physical touch 

  • Prefers to be alone

  • Seems unable to show or understand emotion

  • Does not speak or talk at appropriate age markers 

  • Gives unrelated answers to questions asked

  • Acts in a way unfamiliar with previous behaviors including rocking back and forth, spinning in circles or flapping their hands

  • Has unusual, over- or under-sensitivity to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel 

  • Has low to no social skills including unable to play with other children 

  • Demonstrates little awareness about self-safety is unaware of danger

  • Reverses pronounces (example: says “you” instead of “me)

Autistic children may also exhibit unusual behaviors, such as: 

  • Have extreme anxiety and phobias, sometimes unusual phobias

  • Play with toys the same way every time

  • Exhibit obsessive compulsive tendencies, i.e. line up their toys

  • Become obsessed with part of objects or toys, like wheels

  • Become upset by minor changes


 Other symptoms of pediatric autism include: 

  • Hyperactivity (very, very active - can’t be calm)

  • Impulsivity (acting without thinking)

  • Short attention span

  • Aggression

  • Meltdowns

  • Lack of fear (actions risks self-injury 

  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits

  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions (or lack thereof)

Facts About Pediatric Autism

A spectrum disorder, Autism can range from mild to severe. Each child with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. Some children with autism may require significant pediatric therapy services and daily support while others may need less development skills in order to live independently.


 Here is what we scientifically know about Autism: 


  • Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disorder that generally appears before the age of three.

  • Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function.

  • Children with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interactions, and leisure and play activities.

  • Many people with autism also suffer from comorbid medical conditions that may include: allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, eating disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, and sleeping disorders.

  • Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls.

  • The prevalence of autism is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status.

  • Since first being discovered, autism has climbed to an alarming rate: one in every 59 children is diagnosed with autism.

  • There is currently no cure for autism.

  • With early intervention treatment, the diverse systems related to pediatric autism can be greatly improved and, in some cases, completely overcome.


Early intervention is key. 

In children specifically, early childhood development is crucial as rapid growth happens in a child’s early years.


Research shows that early diagnosis in children and 20+ hours per week of individualized pediatric care therapy can lead to huge improvements in kids with autism. Full-spectrum care can improve learning, communication and social skills as well as underlying brain development. It is this early intervention and pediatric therapy that creates positive outcomes later in life for children with autism.


Our Mission at Arizona Autism 

May every child know love.


Our reason for existing is simple: WE LOVE KIDS. Everyday we strive to fulfill our mission to provide the best possible pediatric therapy services available to children with autism who live and play in Tucson and the Phoenix Metro.


Our Mission:  To help every child with Autism learn and develop the important self-help skills in life so they can thrive in the world as themselves.


Our pediatric therapists and caregivers are the heart of our company. They are committed to helping children with Autism achieve independence through the development of fine motor skills, problem solving, socialization, self-care and communication skills, sensory integration, and attention development.

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