In 2000, one in every one hundred and fifty children was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Since then, there has been a drastic increase of the incidence of this disorder. In 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control, autism spectrum disorder occurs in one out of eighty eight children. (CDC, 2013) That is a significant increase over a relatively short period of time. With such an increase, it is important to learn what autism spectrum disorder is and what might cause it.
Autism spectrum disorder is the term used for a group of disorders in brain development. It is a complex disorder and symptoms usually appear before the child is age five. It is called a spectrum disorder because each person is affected differently with different degrees of severity. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011)
There are three disorders included under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorder. They are; autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified. Autistic disorder is known as “classic autism”. When you say autism, this is what most people think of. Some of the characteristics include profound language delays, and problems with social skills. Asperger syndrome is similar to the classic autism, but with milder symptoms. People with this disorder will also have problems with social skills. Usually though, they do not have significant language delays. (Autism Speaks, 2014) Pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified, is a classification for people who have certain symptoms of autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome but not the more severe symptoms. The symptoms are milder than those of the other two disorders. (CDC, Facts about ASDs, 2013)
There are t...
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