There is a lot of information, and misinformation, surrounding autism spectrum disorders (ASD), so this week, I decided to look through some reputable sites and bring you basic facts and statistics.
- Autism spectrum disorders are a range of disorders including autism disorder( also called classic utism), Aperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified.
- Autism is neurodevelopmental disorder. While it was once believed that it was caused by poor parenting, we now know this isn’t true. It is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
- Autism may be inherited. If one identical twin has autism, the chances of the other also having ASD is 90 percent. There is an increased risk of siblings also having ASD.
- ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
- ASD characterized by social impairments, problems with communication, and repetitive patterns of behavior.
- Boys are diagnosed with ASD four times more often than girls.
- 1 out of 88 children will develop symptoms of ASD.
- The rate of ASD has increased tenfold since the 1980’s. Experts believe this is caused by a number of factors: increased awareness, expansion of the diagnostic criteria and increased resources available to both doctors and parents.
- Signs of autism may be noticeable from birth, although it is not usually diagnosed until a child is at least 2 years old.
- Approximately 40 percent of children with autism do not speak.
- Approximately 25 to 30 percent of children with autism begin speaking with words at 12 to 18 months but then stop speaking.
- Other medical conditions which are commonly seen in children with autism include Fragile X, allergies, epilepsy, bowel disease, gastrointestinal and digestive problems, sleeping disorders, sensory processing problems, feeding disorders, anxiety, bipolar disorder, Tourette syndrome, immune disorders, autoimmune disorders, high rates ov viral infections and neuroinflammation.
- Many children with ASD engage in repetitive movements, such as rocking or twirling.
- Some children with ASD engage in self-abusive behaviors such as head-banging
- There is no laboratory test for ASD, it is diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation which includes neurological assessment as well as cognitive and language testing.
- There is no “one” treatment for autism, rather a combination of treatments are used that are specific to each person’s needs. Some possible treatments include behavioral interventions, educational interventions, medications, physical, speech and occupational therapies.
“Autism Fact Sheet,” Updated 2012, Aug 22, Staff Writer, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“Autism Fact Sheet,” Date Unknown, Staff Writer, National Autism Association
“Facts About ASD,” Reviewed 2012, March 29, Staff Writer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Published On: October 03, 2012