Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social interactions, speech and nonverbal communication, restricted/repetitive behaviors, and sensory sensitivities. Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is a wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 54 children have been diagnosed with ASD. ASD is more commonly diagnosed in boys versus girls, and occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. ASD can sometimes be detected in children 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional is considered very reliable.
For a person to be diagnosed with ASD, they must exhibit difficulties related to social communication AND a pattern of restricted, repetitive behaviors. Some examples of behaviors associated with ASD in young children are listed below.
Possible Signs of Restricted, Repetitive Behaviors
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. If there is a concern that your child is showing possible signs of ASD, then a diagnostic evaluation is strongly recommended. A diagnostic evaluation will likely involve an interview and standardized testing performed by a psychologist, development pediatrician, or child psychiatrist. It may also include assessments by a speech-language pathologist and/or an occupational therapist, depending on your child’s specific needs.
For more information about ASD, please visit the CDC’s website.
Para más información, favor de visitor CDC’s website en español.