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The United States of Autism: The Facts About Autism

Get the Facts About Autism

  • Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3.
  • Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.[1]
  • It is estimated that 1 in 88 children in the US has Autism.[2]
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the country, affecting 1 to 1.5 million Americans.[3]
  • Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls. Its prevalence is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status. Since autism was first diagnosed in the U.S. the occurrence has climbed to an alarming one in 150 people across the country.[4]
  • A new version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is expected to be released in May of 2013 that is expected to redefine how Autism will be diagnosed. [5]
  • “The Workgroup is considering a change in DSM-V that would replace the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) category with the title “Autism Spectrum Disorders” (ASD). The change would utilize a single diagnosis for the disorders currently entitled: Autism, PDD-NOS and Asperger disorder. “[6]
  • “To better reflect the symptomatology and clinical presentation of ASD, changing the three current symptom domains (social deficits, communication deficits and fixated interests/repetitive behaviors) to two (social communication deficits and fixated interests and repetitive behaviors) is also being considered.” [7]

[1] Based on DSM-IV, Psychological Diagnostic Criteria.
[2] http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0329_autism_disorder.html
[3] Based on the previous autism prevalence rate of 1 in 150 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007) and 2000 U.S. Census figure of 280 million Americans.
[4] National Autism Association Definition of Autism. http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/definitions.php
[5] http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx
[6] American Psychiatric Association Proposed changes.
[7] American Psychiatric Association Proposed Changes.

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