Whether you are worried about how your baby is growing and developing, or whether your child (of any age) has just been diagnosed, the word “Autism” can be scary. Particularly if you are not sure what it means, or what it means to you, your child, or other loved one. As your journey begins, the Autism Society of Los Angeles is here to help you.

Our website provides the information and resources you need to understand autism and how it affects your loved one. Understanding and accepting your child’s condition is an important first step for you and your family. While it may be an emotional process, this understanding prepares you to advocate for your child and find the supports your child and your family may need.

This section explains the autism spectrum very clearly and can give you some insight into why your child received the diagnosis, if he or she has one. If you are wondering if the diagnosis “fits”, this section provides information that you will want to discuss with a doctor or other professional.

After you read this section, you will want to click the link at the top of the page for the section that matches your child’s current age. Each section provides key information and guidance to help you understand the needs of your child at different ages and stages through adulthood. Each section also helps parents understand the service “systems” that are relevant at different times in your child’s life, so you can navigate these systems as smoothly and quickly as possible. You may have many questions, and we hope these sections will provide answers, resources, and tools to help you and your family members.

If you are an adult diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or think you may have autism, we hope the information on this site will be helpful.

Click here to read the new DSM 5 criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder and Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder. This section is also relevant to those with a previous diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.