Things Everyone Should Know About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

Nearly 3.5 million Americans live with autism spectrum disorder. There are no currently identifiable factors that predetermine a child’s likelihood of being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, yet it is the fastest growing developmental disability. Autism Society

Autism is a spectrum disorder. Every person with autism is unique.

The range of symptoms is broad and can affect a child’s social skills, motor skills and even verbal communication. Autism Spectrum Disorder affects each child differently with some having extreme impairment and others exhibiting milder symptoms, or in some areas of development, no adverse symptoms at all. Vanderbilt University

Children on the spectrum have the same emotions as other children, but have a harder time expressing themselves.

Many children on the autism spectrum have difficulty socializing and communicating with others around them. Due to these difficulties, they may express themselves differently than the typical child because of an inability to communicate. Social limitations may also hinder a child from noticing indirect communication, sarcasm and body language cues. Autism Speaks

Autism affects approximately 1 in 68 U.S. children, 1 in 42 boys.

Since 2000, there has been a sharp rise, approximately 120 percent, in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. This may be due to a better understanding of the disorder or better screenings where children on the spectrum may have been previously misdiagnosed. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Beautiful Autism

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy helps children learn developmental behaviors.

United States Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD, has endorsed intensive behavioral intervention for individuals with autism. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General states, “Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior.” National Institutes of Health

Many people diagnosed with autism have sensory sensitivity.

Children with autism can be oversensitive or undersensitive to noise, light, texture or temperature. Their senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – take in either too much or too little information from the environment around them which can leave the child feeling overwhelmed or almost appearing numb. Raising Children Network

Early intervention is key in treating autism.

Children who receive autism-appropriate education and support at key developmental stages are more likely to gain essential social skills and react better in society. Parents of children on the autism spectrum can learn early on how to help their child improve mentally, emotionally, and physically throughout the developmental stages. Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation

Children on the spectrum can be a success story.

There are numerous stories of children on the spectrum who have gone on to do things most thought were unimaginable. Temple Grandin is an author, speaker and well-respected scientist. Alexis Wineman competed in the Miss America pageant in 2012, reaching the top 15 and winning the “America’s Choice Award.” There are also many world-renowned historical figures who, based off personal memoirs, are also thought to have had autism. Google search

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