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What is Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurobiological disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.

  • One in 68 children and one in 42 boys in the U.S. are affected by autism
  • Boys are 4.5 times more likely to have ASD than girls
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • An estimated 2 million individuals in the U.S. are affected
  • ASD occurs in children of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined
  • The symptoms vary widely from child to child and range from mild to severe
  • Recent studies show that most children are diagnosed after age 4, despite the fact that ASD can be diagnosed much earlier

Facts and information are based on statistics from varied sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the prevalence statistics from the Child & Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative and Autism Speaks.