|April is National Autism Awareness Month.|
One in 68 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life.
Autism affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns. The condition usually appears around the first three years of a child's life. Scientists don't know the exact causes of ASD, but research suggests that genes and environment play important roles.
Risk factors include:
- Having older parents
- Presence of other genetic conditions
- Having a brother or sister with autism
- Gender-boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls
The signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder can vary and can differ from one child to the next. For instance, Asperger Syndrome is a high functioning form of autism where a person has difficulty interacting with people, repeats certain behaviors, and exhibits clumsiness.
Want to learn more? Here are additional resources on autism: