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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Parents with concerns should seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

Some facts about autism 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 44 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 27 boys and 1 in 116 girls.

  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.

  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.

  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.

  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

                                                                               --Autism Speaks





  • -  The Indiana Resource Center for Autism conducts outreach training and consultations, engages in research, and develops and disseminates information on behalf of individuals across the autism spectrum.  Their  efforts are focused on providing communities, organizations, agencies, individuals and families with the knowledge and skills to support children and adults in typical early intervention, school, community, work, and home settings. The IRCA booklet for parents of newly diagnosed children is an excellent resource and can be downloaded below for free:


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