What is Autism?
The CDC states that Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people. ASD’s are “spectrum disorders.” That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention As the name "autism spectrum disorders" suggests, ASDs cover a wide range of behaviors and abilities. People who have an ASD, like all people, are very different in how they act and what they can do. No two people with ASDs will have the same symptoms.
Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 150 births (Centers for Disease Control Prevention, 2007). Roughly translated, this means as many as 1.5 million Americans today are believed to have some form of autism. Recent studies indicate that the incidence of Autism may be as high as 1 in 100.
The U.S. Department of Education and other governmental agencies statistics state that autism is growing at a startling rate of 10-17 percent per year. At this rate, the Autism Society estimates that the prevalence of autism could reach 4 million Americans in the next decade.
Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries; family income levels; lifestyle choices; or educational levels, and can affect any family and any child. And although the overall incidence of autism is consistent around the globe, it is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls.