Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes: Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger Syndrome. Previously these were considered independent but are now all classified under the ASD umbrella.
The CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network states that 1 in 54 children are believed to fall on the autism spectrum. Boys are 4+ times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls. However, it is important to note that girls can be autistic too and may display behaviors differently, in turn, causing them to go longer without a diagnosis.
What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism or ASD) is a *developmental disability that affects how people experience the world around them. It can affect an individual’s social, communication, and behavioral abilities in a spectrum of ways and last throughout the lifespan. Communication, problem-solving, learning, and social-interactions may cause challenges ranging from **low support to high support needed levels.
Autism is usually diagnosed in early childhood through The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). There is no known cause for autism, however, early diagnosis can help a person with autism receive the support and services needed to help them live a life of health, comfort, and happiness as independently as possible.
*Per The Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.
**Low-Support (formerly called high-functioning) is where people with autism may live independently with minimal assistance. High-Support (formerly called low-functioning) are more severe cases that require assistance in daily life.
For more information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html