About Autism

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.




“For 2014, the overall prevalence of ASD among the 11 ADDM sites was 16.8 per 1,000 (one in 59) children aged 8 years. Overall ASD prevalence estimates varied among sites, from 13.1–29.3 per 1,000 children aged 8 years. ASD prevalence estimates also varied by sex and race/ethnicity. Males were four times more likely than females to be identified with ASD.” https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/ss/ss6706a1.htm?s_cid=ss6706a1_w