Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Not every case of ASD is the same, so some cases may be difficult to identify. Premature babies have a higher risk of having ASD, and it is sometimes identifiable before the child is even 18 months old. By the time the child is 2 years old, if they do have ASD, a healthcare provider may have already given a diagnosis, but some children aren't diagnosed until they are much older.
Every case of ASD is different. About 1 in 68 children in the United States have it, some more severe than others. Some children with ASD can talk, but some cannot. One child may be exceptionally bright while another might have trouble learning in school. There is no sure way to know if a child has ASD- no blood test or obvious signs- but it is diagnosed by observing a child's behavior. If a child doesn't seem to be reaching developmental milestones or if they are losing skills that they once had (called regression), they may have ASD.
3 Important Facts
- The rate of autism in the United States is steadily growing.
- Boys are 5 times as likely as girls to have ASD.
- About 40% of children with autism cannot speak.