Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. There are three types:
Autistic Disorder: aka “classic” autism. People with this usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many also have intellectual disabilities.
Asperger Syndrome: Symptoms are often milder than that of autistic disorder. People with Asperger Syndrome might have social challenges, but typically don’t have problems with language or intellectual disability.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Or not otherwise specified. Those with the disorder meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger Syndrome but not all.
ASDs begin before the age of 3 and last throughout a person’s life, although symptoms can improve over time.
Experts estimate that 1 in 88 children has an ASD.
Boys are five times more likely than girls to have an ASD.
Scientists aren’t certain what causes ASD, but believe that genetics and environment play a role.
Children who have a sibling or parent with an ASD are at a higher risk for also having an ASD.
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S
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