What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life-long neurological variation. Individuals with ASD learn and think in unique ways, leading to a great variety in how ASD affects a particular individual and how much support they need.

  • ASD is usually diagnosed in early childhood and about 1 in 54 children have been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.*
  • ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.*
  • ASDs are more than 4 times more common among boys than among girls.*

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

According to the CDC, a person with an ASD might:

  • Not respond to their name by 12 months
  • Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14  months
  • Not play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll) by 18  months
  • Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own  feelings
  • Have delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

Research shows that appropriate intervention leads to positive life outcomes for people with ASD.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information

GHA Autism Supports continues to keep the health and safety of all individuals supported and employees at the core of all decision making. We have implemented the following safety measures:

  • All group meetings have transitioned to utilizing conferencing systems.
  • Strict visitation guidelines are in effect at all programs.
  • We encourage temporarily replacing in-person visitation with telephonic communication to limit exposure at all sites.
  • Second Street Sundries is currently offering curbside pick-up and ordering through the online system.
  • We will continue to monitor all updates, and update this information accordingly. Thank you for your patience as we navigate these uncertain times.

Read More >

UNC COVID-19 Toolkit – Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times >

Contact Us

Physical Address:
213 N. Second Street, Albemarle, NC 28001

Mailing Address:
PO Box 2487, Albemarle, NC 28002

Wilmington Office:
PO Box 4122, Wilmington, NC 28406

Phone: (704) 982-9600
Fax: (704) 982-8155

Wilmington:
Phone: (910) 769-1046
Fax: (910) 399-1780

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GHA Autism Supports is licensed by the Division of Health Service Regulation of the North Carolina Department of Human Resources. In addition, GHA Autism Supports is nationally accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). ICF/MR homes are certified by the North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance. GHA Autism Supports is affiliated with the Division TEACCH program at UNC-CH, the Autism Society of North Carolina and is a member of the North Carolina Association of Community-Based ICF/MR and CAP providers and the North Carolina Providers Council.