What is Autism​?

Autism is a lifelong neurological disorder that affects how a person perceives the world, interacts with other people and communicates.

It is often referred to as a “spectrum” disorder, meaning the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations and level of severity. Autism is currently diagnosed in approximately 1 out of every 68 individuals according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2016). Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls.
There is no single, specific known cause of autism. In many families there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities – which suggests there is a genetic basis to the disorder – although no single gene has been directly linked to autism.

Autism is treatable. Early diagnosis, intervention, and a system of support are fundamental for the best quality of life.


What is the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin?


The Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism.  We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the life span, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.


We believe that each individual with autism is unique and they and their families should determine the best treatment based on individual needs. This guiding principal is expressed in the national Autism Society’s Options Policy.

The Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin received our chapter status from the national Autism Society in 1976. For over 40 years we have served as the primary Autism/Asperger Syndrome/PDD resource for Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Dodge, Jefferson, Ozaukee, Walworth and Washington counties. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your donations are tax deductible.