Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a serious developmental disorder that impacts the nervous system and impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Here are 10 things we need to know about this disorder.
- The term comes from the Greek word autos meaning “self”, autism means “alone”.
- Autism spectrum disorder is recently affecting 1 out of 68 children. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ASD.
- ASD is more common than childhood cancer, AIDS and diabetes combined.
- This developmental disability normally appears before the age of 3.
- About 10% of children with ASD also have another neurological, genetic, or metabolic disorder.
- There is currently no cure for autism spectrum disorder.
- ASD is not degenerative. Individuals with Autism can continuously improve, most likely with specialized, individualized services and opportunities for supported inclusion.
- Being nonverbal at age 4 doesn’t mean children with autism spectrum disorder will never be able to speak. Research shows that most will learn to use words someday, and nearly half will learn to speak in a fluent way.
- Children and adults with autism spectrum disorder often care deeply but lack the ability to spontaneously develop socially and empathic connected typical behavior.
- If one identical twin has ASD, there is a 60-96% chance the other twin will have some form of ASD as well.