What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.
Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier.
Facts About Autism
· The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism's prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
· An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults each year, and lose school-based autism services
· Around 1/3 of people with autism remain nonverbal
· Around 1/3 of people with autism have an intellectual disability
· Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism