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.


Researchers have found that ASD develops right around the time of birth, especially if there are birth complications. Complications that cause a child to be born prematurely or have a low birth weight are also possible causes of ASD. Taking certain medications during pregnancy, as well as having an older parent are also some of the possible causes. It has also been discovered that sometimes ASD can come from genes linked with it or a genetic or chromosomal condition. More research is still needed, though, to discover more causes.


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.


There is no cure for ASD, but some medications are able to help with a few of the symptoms. There are also many, many different kinds of therapy to help children learn things like social skills, speaking, doing daily tasks (like getting dressed), dealing with sensory information (sights and smells), or learning to communicate.

Life Expectancy

Children diagnosed with ASD generally live about as long as anyone else. Their disease does not have any affect on their age, though they may continue to need care well into their adult years.

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.