According to the CDC: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges (*website referenced below).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent reports indicate that 1 in 68 U.S. children have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
To qualify for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder under the DSM-V, a child must display both of the following:
- Deficits in social communication and social interaction
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
A Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is classified into three levels (Levels 1, 2, and 3) based upon the severity of symptoms displayed by the child. ASD Diagnosis can occur with or without the following: a) intellectual impairment b) language impairment c) associated known medical or genetic conditions or environmental factors d) associated neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorders and e) catatonia.
As a result of the varying severity of symptoms, co-occurring conditions, and individual differences, each child with ASD will appear different from other children with the same diagnosis. ASD is a spectrum disorder and encompasses a wide range of symptoms, characteristics, and developmental impairments.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created this helpful fact sheet on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Click here to dowload the Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet.(PDF)
The CDC also has a number of useful resources related to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder on the “Autism Spectrum Disorders” page of their website. To explore these materials, click here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an empirically validated treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). For more information on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), read our article here.