• Conditions InDepth: Autism

    Autism is a complex neurological disorder. It may or may not be noticed during infancy. It is usually identified during early childhood between the ages of 2-6 years. People with autism have difficulty communicating and forming relationships.
    Autism spectrum disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome , and pervasive developmental disorder. Autism is a lifelong condition that varies in severity depending on the person. Some people with autism need to be cared for their entire life and have other conditions, such as seizures and intellectual disabilities . Others are able to live on their own and work.
    The exact cause of autism is not known. Researchers have identified the following factors that may increase a person's risk of developing autism:
    • Genetic factors
    • Environmental factors
    • Problems during pregnancy or delivery that could interfere with brain development
    • Exposure to environmental toxins
    What are the risk factors for autism?What are the symptoms of autism?How is autism diagnosed?What are the treatments for autism?Are there screening tests for autism?How can I reduce my child's risk of autism?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with autism?Where can I get more information about autism?


    Autism 101: a free online course. The Autism Society website. Available at: http://support.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about%5Fcourse. Accessed May 14, 2013.

    Autism spectrum disorder. American Academy of Pediatrics' Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/developmental-disabilities/Pages/Autism-Spectrum-Disorders.aspx. Updated January 31, 2013. Accessed May 13, 2013.

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html. Updated August 7, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2013.

    Autism spectrum disorders (pervasive developmental disorders). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-pervasive-developmental-disorders/index.shtml. Updated May 14, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2013.

    Causes. The Autism Society website. Available at: http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/causes. Accessed May 14, 2013.

    Rapin I. An 8-year-old boy with autism. JAMA. 2001;285:1749-1757.

    12/31/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Rice C. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2009;58(SS10):1.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.