Odds are good you have someone in your life on the autism spectrum. According the the most recent data from the CDC, 1 in 44 children can be diagnosed with autism. This is a dramatic rise from 2008, when 1 in 88 children were diagnosable as being on the autism spectrum. This increase may be due to several factors, including a better understanding of autism, better precision in screening and diagnosis, and a destigmatization.
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurobiological disorder that can occur due to various factors. Although many clinicians and researchers accept a biological origin, other data suggest environmental factors during pregnancy or soon after birth may contribute to its development.
As diverse as the origins, symptoms are also variable, and do not always appear to the same degree. These may include:
- Persistent deficits in social communication and interaction (verbal and non-verbal)
- Difficulty emotionally reciprocating with others
- Difficulty developing and maintaining relationships
- Restricted repetitive patterns of behavior
- Repetitive patterns of behavior, such as lining things up or echoing other’s speech
- Insistence on sameness, such as routines, foods, etc.
- Highly restrictive interests, or being preoccupied with unusual objects