CNAF Home Page The Foundation Autism Resources The Message Boards  Contact CNAF
Resources Print This Page!Print This Page
Resources By Province
Books & Other Resources
Research Studies

ASD Information by 


Make A Donation. Help the CNAF.
Newsletter Sign Up
Fill in your email address below to receive the monthly newsletter.
More Details...  
Other ASD Information by Category


What is Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS).Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic , all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD.

What are some common signs of autism?
How is autism diagnosed?
What causes autism?
What role does inheritance play?
Do symptoms of autism change over time?
How is autism treated?
What research is being done?
Where can I get more information?

When an Autism Diagnosis Comes in Adulthood


What Causes Autism

Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. Research has identified more than a hundred autism risk genes. In around 15 percent of cases, a specific genetic cause of a person’s autism can be identified. However, most cases involve a complex and variable combination of genetic risk and environmental factors that influence early brain development.

In other words, in the presence of a genetic predisposition to autism, a number of nongenetic, or environmental, influence further increase a child’s risk. The clearest evidence of these environmental risk factors involves events before and during birth. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy, extreme prematurity and very low birth weight and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. Mothers exposed to high levels of pesticides and air pollution may also be at higher risk of having a child with ASD. It is important to keep in mind that these factors, by themselves, do not cause autism. Rather, in combination with genetic risk factors, they appear to modestly increase risk.


DSM 4 and 5









General Information about ASD


  DSM 4 Diagnostic Criteria

DSM 5 Diagnostic Criteria

The DSM-5 new category social communication disorder (SCD)

DSM-5 Implementation and Support

New autism DSM 5 definition may decrease diagnosis by one-third

Highlights of Changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5



Sleeping Problems

Tuck- is all about sleep issues

    What Do I Do Now?

    Acronyms Related to Autism



Health & Services Information


Seizures and Autism

Special Diets and Recipes

Autism and Dental Care

Speech Language Pathologists

ABA and IBI Information

Alternative Therapies 

Pica eating of dirt or paint etc.





    Teaching Strategies

    Learning Styles in ASD


Information for Adults with ASD



    Diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome

    in Adulthood

    Website Links for Adults and ASD     Information

The Guide to Securing Life-long Accommodations for Adult Children with Special Needs



Travel and ASD


    Website Links for Travel for

    Individuals with ASD

Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Disabilities





    Website Links for Day, Overnight

    and Summer Camps in Canada



Suicide Prevention

Restraint & Seclusion

    Bullying, Suicide and Seclusion

















  Home   The Foundation   Resources   Message Board    Contact CNAF  
 Site Disclaimer   Privacy Policy   All content © 2004 Canadian National Autism Foundation unless otherwise stated. Top