What is Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects communication, social interaction and behavior. Individuals with ASD typically have difficulty understanding verbal and non-verbal communication, and may act inappropriately toward other people, objects and events.

  • ASD is usually diagnosed in early childhood and about 1 in 68 children have been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.*
  • ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.*
  • ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).*

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

According to the CDC, a person with an ASD might:

  • Not respond to their name by 12 months
  • Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14  months
  • Not play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll) by 18  months
  • Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own  feelings
  • Have delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel