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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability affecting social and communication skills. ASD is a neurological condition that affects the way a person experiences and interacts with the world. The main signs of ASD include:
Delayed & disordered language
Impaired social interaction
Restricted range of interest
Before 2013, five different subtypes of autism were classified under Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD): Autism, Asperger’s, Child Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), Pervasive Non-Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Rett’s.
Today, four of these subtypes (excluding Rett’s) have now been replaced with one central diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder. Rather than a distinction between different subtypes, ASD is now differentiated based on three levels of severity and support needed (from mild to severe):
Level 1: requiring support Level 2: requiring substantial support Level 3: requiring very substantial support
Studies in the past decade show ASD prevalence figures to be growing. The current estimate by the American Autism & Development Disabilities Monitoring Network is as high as 1 in 68 individuals with a diagnosis of autism. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism with 1 in every 42 boys being diagnosed with autism.
Early intervention, and consistent access to care can greatly improve the development of a child with ASD. This month, you can support families, educate communities, or provide life changing services for individuals affected by ASD.
As a society, we owe it to our children to do whatever we can to help them prosper in a world with increasing awareness and opportunities. Show you care, learn how to help. For more information, please visit Think Inc Foundation.