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Autism Spectrum Disorders
1 in 88 children in the US will be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (Centers for Disease Control, 2012). Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Delay – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) are the three most common disorders in this group, and are characterized by delays in language development and social skills, and by repetitive and/or restrictive behaviors. Autism is diagnosed five times more often in boys than in girls.
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that becomes evident in early childhood. Individuals diagnosed with Autism often
have difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication and social interactions, and may exhibit physical disorders including epilepsy, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, digestive disorders, and allergies.
There is no cure for Autism. However, numerous educational, behavioral, biomedical, and related interventions have been proven effective in improving symptomology in individuals with this diagnosis. Autism does not affect life expectancy.
Autism affects more individuals in the US than Leukemia, Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrosis, and Juvenile Diabetes, but receives the least national funding.
Below are reliable resources on prevalence, treatment, and current research on Autism in the US. Many other sources of information are available.