Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD” or “Autism”)
[ aw-tiz-uhm ]
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
- According to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, 1 in 54 8-year-old children were identified with ASD in 2016.
- CDC supports the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), one of the largest U.S. studies to better understand risk factors of ASD.
- CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program aims to improve early identification of ASD by promoting developmental monitoring.
- There is no cure for ASD, but Early Intervention services can improve a child’s development.
- Monitoring, screening, evaluating, and diagnosing children with ASD as early as possible is important to make sure children receive the services and supports they need to reach their full potential.
For every five children identified with Autism, four were boys. White and black children were 1.2 times more likely to be identified with Autism than Hispanic children.
Autism prevalence of 8 year-old children in the ADDM Network was 1 in 54.
CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program has FREE parent-friendly milestone checklists and other resources for children 2 months to 5 years of age to support health care providers with this process.
ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable. However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.