The month of April is dedicated to raising awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a complex group of generally lifelong developmental disorders, usually diagnosed in childhood. Characteristics of ASD may include problems communicating; difficulty relating to people, things, and events; repetitive movements or behaviors; and difficulty adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings or routines. ASD is called a “spectrum” disorder because it can cause very different symptoms. Some people have mild symptoms and others have much more severe ones. Estimates of autism vary and prevalence studies in the United States have looked only at children, but the most recent U.S. Government statistics estimate that about 1 in 68 children has ASD. It’s 4.5 times more common among boys than girls.
Many parents try complementary health approaches, usually along with conventional medical care, for their children with ASD. You can read more about this on our website, as well as find health alerts on products and practices. Of particular interest may be the Food and Drug Administration publication, "Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products."