Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental disorders.
These disorders are characterized by problems with communication and social interaction. People with ASD often demonstrate restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped interests or patterns of behavior.
ASD is found in individuals around the world, regardless of race, culture, or economic background. Autism does occur more often in boys than in girls, with a 4 to 1 male-to-female ratio.
The CDC estimated in 2014 that nearly 1 in 59 children have been identified with ASD.
There are indications that instances of ASD are on the rise. Some attribute this increase to environmental factors. However, experts debate whether there’s an actual increase in cases or just more frequent diagnoses
What are the different types of autism?
There five different ASD subtypes, or specifiers. They are:
- with or without accompanying intellectual impairment
- with or without accompanying language impairment
- associated with a known medical or genetic condition or environmental factor
- associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder
- with catatonia
Someone can be diagnosed with one or more specifiers. people on the autism spectrum may have been diagnosed with one of the following disorders:
- Autistic disorder
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
- Childhood disintegrative disorder
It’s important to note that a person who received one of these earlier diagnoses hasn’t lost their diagnosis and won’t need to be reevaluated.