Even though we're not yet sure of what causes autism, what we know are its symptoms, represented by a wide spectrum ranging between high functioning and low functioning. Autism's symptoms start showing at around the age of 2, and the child's ability to comprehend abstract concepts and to form social relationships is strained. Speech may be delayed, and the child may seem distant, uninterested, and sometimes may have breakdowns. The visual and audible clues that autistic people receive are usually more chaotic, which is why everything seems to be too much for them, and why they prefer to be in places where not too much external stimuli is present. If you get your child the help he/she needs, with specialized teachers and the appropriate health care, the road for improvement is possible and grand. And remember, different is beautiful.