ASD is a developmental disorder that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.
Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. ASD occurs in all ethnic, racial, and economic groups. The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis estimates that one in 44 children have ASD.*