About Autism

The puzzle piece has come to represent the complexities and uniqueness of individuals on the spectrumAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Medical Association), all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.  Consistent with this new description, the Boston Higashi School serves students within the full range of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is still regarded as a developmental, non-progressive, lifelong neurological disorder that is derived from multiple sources, which are only partially known and understood. Other conditions that may occur with autism, but are not indicators for diagnosis, include problems with motor coordination, activity level and sleep regulation, level of anxiety, cognitive capability, and gastrointestinal or immune system issues.

Autism is regarded as a condition the child has, rather than defining the child, who is seen as a unique personality with other areas of strength and possibly need.
 There are many networks for support, information and resources available to families. For more information, please explore the links below, contact your child's physician, or read more about our program, which uses the unique methodology of Daily Life Therapy®.

Some helpful links:  


Learn the Signs of Autism 

Autism Speaks Resource Guide 

Downloadable Toolkits