One in 68.
That’s how prevalent autism is in children today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the United States, this includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. Some children show signs of autism in early infancy. Other children may develop autism-related actions or behaviors as they grow older.
Because of the unique mix of symptoms shown in each child, severity level can be difficult to determine.
Common Autism-related Actions and Behaviors:
- Fails to respond to his or her name.
- Resists cuddling and holding. Prefers playing alone.
- Has poor eye contact and lacks facial expression.
- Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm. May use a sing-song voice or robot-like speech.
- Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others’ feelings.
- Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping.
- Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change.
- May be uncooperative or resistant to change.
- Has problems with coordination or has odd movement patterns, such as clumsiness or walking on toes.
- Experiences unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel.
If you suspect your child may have autism, it is important to seek an assessment with a trained professional. Early detection leads to effective treatment.
Altru’s Rehab Autism Diagnostic Clinic is offered several times throughout the year. Parents who have concerns about a child’s development have access to an autism diagnostic clinic for ages 2.5 to 21 years. This clinic is at no cost to the family and is made possible by donor gifts to Altru Health Foundation. Learn more at altru.org/autism.