What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder, autism spectrum disorder affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social-communication and behavior. Both children and adults with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty relating to others.
In May 2013, the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) revised the definition of autism spectrum disorder to be more useful and accurate for both the medical and scientific communities. Using the DSM-5, physicians, psychologists, and multidisciplinary teams diagnose ASD based on the presence of: (1) deficits in social communication; and (2) restricted, repetitive patters of behavior, interests, or activities.
“About 1 in 68 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.” http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html. Autism spectrum disorder knows no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries; family income levels, lifestyle choices or educational levels, and can affect any family and any child. Although the overall prevalence of autism is consistent around the globe, it is five times more common in boys than in girls. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html