Autism Spectrum Disorder

1148 Words5 Pages
Chapter II: Review of Literature Autism Spectrum Disorder is a general term for a lifelong developmental disorder which can cause challenges in social interactions, behavior, and communication. Disorders that fall under this umbrella that is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) include: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. It is estimated that over two million people in the U.S. are affected by ASD. One in every 68 children has been diagnosed with ASD and boys are five times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls (Baio, 2014). The intellectual abilities of those with ASD have a vast range. Some are quite gifted in certain areas, while others may be severely challenged. ASD is the fastest growing developmental disorder and the amount of children being diagnosed with ASD has increased significantly over the past decade. This may be due to the improvement of diagnoses, but still the numbers are alarming. There is no cure for ASD, but early intervention can greatly improve the lives of those affected by it. (Baio, 2014) It is known that childhood obesity has become more and more prevalent in this day and age. Childhood obesity can lead to a number of complications such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, sleep problems, and can even have psychosocial effects (Must & Anderson, 2003). What is not talked about as much is childhood obesity in children with ASD and how they may be more likely to become obese than children in general. According to one study looking at the dietary patterns of children with ASD compared with children without ASD, children with ASD consume more sugary snacks and eat less fruits and veggies than those without ASD (Evans et. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ricans affected by autism. This is a growing population that needs more focus. They are at a higher risk of developing obesity than those without the disorder and therefore at higher risk for other related health complications. Children with ASD are much more selective with their food and are often not getting the nutritious diet that they should be. They are also often less active due to the factors that might come along with ASD such as depression, fatigue, and loss of interest. It is up to parents to help their children make good dietary choices and to get their children active. Good diet and physical activity will not only lower the children’s risk for obesity, but it also might improve their social skills as well as their behaviors. More research needs to be done to see all of the positive effects of physical activity and diet in children with ASD.

More about Autism Spectrum Disorder

Open Document