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              What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental brain disorder that occurs in children before the age of three. There is a range or spectrum of conditions associated with ASD caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences including:

  • Limited social skills
  • Repetitive motor behaviors
  • Absolute need for routine
  • Tantrums
  • Speech and non-verbal communication
  • Running and a lack of safety awareness
  • Aggression and/or self-injury
  • Sensitivity to sensory stimulation

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s March 2014 report estimates autism’s presence:

  • 1 in 68 children in the United States, this includes 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 189 girls
  • Approximately one-third of people with autism remain nonverbal
  • Around one-third of people with autism have an intellectual disability

There are medical and mental health issues that frequently accompany autism including:

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
  • Seizures
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety and phobias​

Whether the rare gene mutations are triggered by environmental factors like pollution, certain chemicals and even parental age or changes in how the disease is diagnosed, ASD is on the rise.