Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Facts

  • 1 child in 68 has ASD
  • 4 out of 5 people with ASD are boys
  • There are no racial, ethnic or social boundaries
  • Early intervention has shown great effectiveness in treating ASD Symptoms
  • ASD affects the way in which people understand and react to the world around them
  • Most children are not diagnosed until after age 4 years, however diagnosis at age 2 years is reliable, valid, and stable
  • ASD is not associated with an IQ score
  • ASD costs the nation over $35 billion per year
  • ASD receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • It is not your fault, and you are not alone

What Causes Autism?

There is no definitive known cause for Autism Spectrum Disorders at this time. Current research links ASDs to biological or neurological differences in the brain. These biological and neurological differences are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Less than 10% of individuals with a diagnosis of ASD have an identifiable syndrome or medical disorder known to be associated with ASDs. Some of the syndromes that are associated with ASDs may include but are not limited to:

  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Tuberous Sclerosis and more rarely Neurofibromatosis
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Angelman Syndrome
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Smith-Lemli-Optiz Syndrome

Other diagnoses that may co-occur with ASDs and may affect the long term outcomes of a child may include but are not limited to:

  • Intellectual Disability or Mental Retardation
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Seizure Disorders

Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  • Lack of appropriate gaze
  • Lack of warm joyful expressions with gaze
  • Lack of to and fro patterns of vocalizations between infant and caregiver
  • Lack of recognition of caregivers voice
  • Disregard for vocalizations but keen awareness of environmental sounds
  • Delayed onset of babbling (past 9 months of age)
  • Decreased use of or absence of pointing, waving, showing
  • Lack of expressions such as ???oh, oh??? or ???huh???
  • Lack of interest or response of any kind of neutral statements such as ???Oh no, it???s raining again!???

(For more information refer to the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report: www.medicalhomeinfo.org/health/autism.html)