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What Are Some Facts About Autism

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What is some basic information about autism?

Despite stories you may have read on the Internet, it is incredibly rare for a child accurately diagnosed with autism to become an adult who is no longer diagnosable.

Yes, children with autism may build skills and workarounds that make autism less obvious. Yes, teens with autism may learn social skills and be able to “pass” in some situations. But no, a child with autism won’t just get over their autism to become a typical adult.

Families Dealing With Autism Need Help And Support

It can be hard to ask others for support, especially if they misunderstand the nature of autism. Therefore, one of the most important things to convey to family and friends is that having an autistic child can be hard.

Even high-functioning autism can be challengingfor the person diagnosed with it as well as their family. For a family affected by severe autism, daily life can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling stressed, you need all the non-judgmental help you can get from friends, extended family, and service providers.

Children Can Be Very Young When Theyre Diagnosed

Its possible for children as young as 18 months to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. But most diagnoses occur at 24 months or older, at which point the diagnosis is considered to be very reliable. “Before that, kids with autism will show deficits in social communication, but its appropriate for their age,” says Alycia Halladay, PhD, chief science officer at the Autism Science Foundation in New York City.

Theres no medical or blood test for autism, so doctors typicallyevaluate a childs behavior through a developmental screening and then a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, which can include hearing, vision, and neurological tests. The doctor may also recommend a follow-up visit to a specialist, such as a developmental pediatrician

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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives others need less.

A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified , and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.

Causes And Risk Factors

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We do not know all of the causes of ASD. However, we have learned that there are likely many causes for multiple types of ASD. There may be many different factors that make a child more likely to have an ASD, including environmental, biologic and genetic factors.

  • Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.4, 19
  • Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD. 5-10
  • Individuals with certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis, can have a greater chance of having ASD. 11-14, 20
  • When taken during pregnancy, the prescription drugs valproic acid and thalidomide have been linked with a higher risk of ASD.15-16
  • There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth. 17
  • Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD. 18

ASD continues to be an important public health concern. Like the many families living with ASD, CDC wants to find out what causes the disorder. Understanding the factors that make a person more likely to develop ASD will help us learn more about the causes. We are currently working on one of the largest U.S. studies to date, called Study to Explore Early Development . SEED is looking at many possible risk factors for ASD, including genetic, environmental, pregnancy, and behavioral factors.

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What If My Friend Has Autism Spectrum Disorder

Some people with ASD do not feel that they have a disorder and don’t want to change. They’re proud of who they are and they want to be accepted, even though they may have different strengths and weaknesses than most other people.

All people deserve respect. But kids with ASD may be teased, bullied, or left out because they’re different. Bullying and teasing are never the right way to treat other people, but it may be hard to be a friend with someone who has ASD.

Kids with ASD often don’t understand playful jokes. You may need to be very clear when you communicate with someone who has ASD.

Try to be patient and kind. Remember how hard it might be for the person with ASD to understand how to be a friend. Stand up for classmates who are bullied. Tell adults, so they can help protect kids who are bullied.

What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorder

There is no clear-cut cause of ASD. Some causes that are supported by research include genetic and some environmental factors. Specific genetic causes can only be identified in 10% to 20% of cases. These cases include specific genetic syndromes associated with ASD and rare changes in the genetic code.

Risk factors include older parental age, low birth weight, prematurity and maternal use of valproic acid or thalidomide during pregnancy, among others. This field of study is an active one for reasearch.

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We Still Don’t Know For Sure What Causes Autism And There Is No Medical Test For It

Scientists are gaining new clues about both genetic and environmental factors that might contribute to autism, but we don’t know for sure why some youngsters develop autism and others don’t. There is no cure for the developmental condition.

There’s no evidence that autism is caused by vaccines, and the doctor who first suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been discredited.

Instead, evidence suggests there are environmental factors affecting babies and pregnant women every day that, along with genetic factors, might contribute to more autism cases. These include air pollution, households chemicals, and pesticides.

Autism Is Often Said To Be Four Times More Common For Boys Than For Girls But Researchers Say That Actually The Ways We Look For And Measure Autism May Be Sexist Making Boys More Likely To Be Diagnosed In The First Place

10 AUTISM facts YOU NEED to know [TODAY]

According to a 2017 study in The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the ways that clinicians screen for autism make the disorder more likely to be identified in boys than in girls. Girls may simply be better at defying some of the typical behavioral checks for autism, and their symptoms might be less obvious to teachers, family members, and doctors.

“Autistic girls have fewer troubles making friends than autistic boys they have seemingly more ordinary interests than boys ,” neuroscientist Fabienne Cazalis wrote in The Conversation.

Researchers suspect the real ratio of autism in girls to boys may be more like 1 to 3.

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Facts About Autism And Vaccines

  • In 1998, Lancet published a paper by Dr. Andrew Wakefield of a study linking autism and vaccines. The study has since been retracted.

  • The study was found later on to be not based on statistics, and no group control, but it was enough to start rumors.

  • In the following years, many studies were conducted with over 10,000,000 children and found NO LINK between vaccines and autism.

  • There has been no credible studies linking vaccines to autism.

  • In the US, 1.8% of people do not get their children vaccinated for religious or philosophical reasons.

The Autism Spectrum Is Not Linear

There are so many different types and presentations of autism that we simply cannot fit it onto a simple linear spectrum. Autism involves hundreds of factors, including how we process change, social interaction, basic communication, and forward planning, amongst others, and the infinite combination of these factors makes up the spectrum.

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Everyone Diagnosed With Autism Is Different

Each individual that is diagnosed with ASD isunique. That means all the symptoms and signs of autism will be different fromone individual to another. For example, some of them might show particular symptomslike poor eye contact, yet, others might not show that. Everyone will bedifferent. So, it indicates that all the persons diagnosed with autism dontshow similar signs and symptoms, and they are very unique as well.

Theres A Wide Range Of Symptoms

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Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder can vary widely depending on the individual. For some people, symptoms of the disorder are mild, while they may be more pronounced in others. But symptoms of ASD generally tend to involve communication skills and social behaviors, such as being extremely introverted, not wanting to play with other children, or not making eye contact. Kids with autism spectrum disorder may repeat certain behaviors over and over again, or they may become obsessed with a particular toy, like Thomas the Train. Lack of verbal skills is one of the most well known symptoms , but this isnt always the case. Other red flags for parents: if a child is very sensitive to noise, throws intense tantrums, doesnt respond spoken to, doesnt point at interesting objects, or doesnt play pretend games by 18 months

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How Is Autism Treated

There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.

Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.

What Are Some Common Signs Of Asd

Even as infants, children with ASD may seem different, especially when compared to other children their own age. They may become overly focused on certain objects, rarely make eye contact, and fail to engage in typical babbling with their parents. In other cases, children may develop normally until the second or even third year of life, but then start to withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.

The severity of ASD can vary greatly and is based on the degree to which social communication, insistence of sameness of activities and surroundings, and repetitive patterns of behavior affect the daily functioning of the individual.

Social impairment and communication difficultiesMany people with ASD find social interactions difficult. The mutual give-and-take nature of typical communication and interaction is often particularly challenging. Children with ASD may fail to respond to their names, avoid eye contact with other people, and only interact with others to achieve specific goals. Often children with ASD do not understand how to play or engage with other children and may prefer to be alone. People with ASD may find it difficult to understand other peoples feelings or talk about their own feelings.

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Where Can I Get More Information

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Quick Facts About Autism

10 facts about Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders are a complex set of neurological disorders that severely impair social, communicative and cognitive functions. Though a thorough understanding of the science behind and treatment methodologies for autism is difficult, the basic understanding of these concepts is paramount to spreading awareness of ASD. Our organization works to disseminate information about ASD to the public and provide education concerning autism. Here are some quick facts to highlight important information about autism and links for further reading:

Defining Autism

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders are a complex set of neurological disorders that severely impair social, communicative and cognitive functions.
  • Individuals with ASD can range from having cognitive impairments to typical or above average IQs.
  • Typical ASD behaviors include stereotyped actions , insistence on sameness, resistance to change and, in some cases, aggression or self-injury.
  • Between 30-50% of people with autism have seizures.
  • Autism was originally believed to be a form of schizophrenia brought on by a traumatic experience or bad parenting. This is not the case.

Autism Prevalence

  • In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States.

Causes of Autism


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There’s No Best School For All Children With Autism

You may have heard of a wonderful “autism school,” or read of a child doing amazingly well in a particular type of classroom setting. While a given setting may be perfect for a particular child, every child with ASD has unique needs. Decisions about the best type of education for a child with autism are generally made together by parents, teachers, administrators, and therapists who know the child well.

Stimming Is Not Always Bad

Stimming is short for self stimulatory behaviour and involves repeating an action or movement over and over in order to stimulate the senses in a specific way. All people do it on a small scale, be that biting your nails or jigging your leg, but those on the autistic spectrum will do this more obviously to calm themselves when feeling overwhelmed. Its a bit like closing yourself off from something that is overwhelming in order to focus on the calming repetitive nature of a chosen movement. To outsiders, stimming can look alarming and even dangerous, but in most cases, if the person is not hurting themselves physically, this process is actually very helpful.

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Great Strengths And Abilities

In general, people with autism are honest and dependable most are focused on their work and are rarely distracted by social activities or outside interests.

Quite a few have exceptional talents in areas such as computer coding, mathematics, music, drafting, organizing, and visual arts. While it can be tough for autistic adults to set up and manage their own space and schedules, many are outstanding employees.

Some corporations have started to recognize the value of actively recruiting and hiring autistic individuals a few include:

  • Freddie Mac
  • SAP

How Is Asd Diagnosed

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASD symptoms can vary greatly from person to person depending on the severity of the disorder. Symptoms may even go unrecognized for young children who have mild ASD or less debilitating handicaps.

Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed by clinicians based on symptoms, signs, and testing according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V, a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association used to diagnose mental disorders. Children should be screened for developmental delays during periodic checkups and specifically for autism at 18- and 24-month well-child visits.

Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:

  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no single words by age 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
  • no response to name
  • excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

Later indicators include:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
  • inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals

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Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Although there continues to be a lot of disagreement about the link between childhood vaccinations and autism, its been determined to be a myth by study after study.

“Vaccines are not one of the causes,” says Halladay. The theory first began after a small 1998 study claimed to find a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and autism. That study has since been deemed flawed, and the original journal it was published in retracted it. Thimerosal, another vaccine ingredient once thought to increase risk of autism,has also not been linked to ASD .Subsequent research has consistently found vaccines to be safe and identified no connection between childhood vaccinations and autism.

More Men Have Autism Than Women

That is, more men are diagnosed with autism than women, at a rate of 5:1. Recent studies, however, including the one mentioned above by Channel 4, suggest that perhaps women are simply better at masking their autism in society and therefore go untested or undiagnosed. Were unsure why this, and more research is encouraged in this area to both determine the reason and better diagnose women.

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