Ages & Stages: 0-5: Autism Fast Facts

Autism spectrum disorders, commonly referred to as autism, are brain based developmental disabilities characterized by language delays or other communication problems, poor or limited social skills and repetitive, rigid and other unusual behaviors.

The symptoms of autism vary widely from child to child and range from mild to severe.

Once considered rare, autism is now estimated to affect 1 in every 150 children in the United States; every 20 minutes a child is diagnosed.

Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls, and occurs in children of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
n Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. It is more prevalent than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

When parents first suspect early signs of autism, or that their child is developing differently, they should express these concerns to their pediatrician and ask for an autism screening. Symptoms can often be detected by 18 months of age or earlier.

Research indicates that early identification and intensive early intervention can result in significant positive outcomes for many children with autism.

Reprinted from Visit this Web site for more information about the early signs of autism.