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An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?  According to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD):

“Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are general terms for a group of complex neurodevelopmental disorders. The new diagnostic classification system (DSM-5, May 2013) combines the previous subcategories of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder–not other-wise specified (PDD-NOS) into the one category of ASD.

Autism spectrum disorder is present early in life and is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in:

• Communication/language
• Social abilities
• Restricted/unusual patterns of activities and interests

The characteristics of ASD can be present in different combinations and at different levels of severity. Often specific behaviors vary widely from person to person. ASD occurs in as many as 1 in 59 children, is about 4-5 times more common in boys than in girls, and occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups.” (Autism Spectrum Disorder:  Tips and Resources for Families, TRIAD, 2018).

For further information, please check out the following websites and resources:

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