About one in 54 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with ASD, and boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls. ASD also affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Currently, 85% of people with ASD are unemployed, including those with college degrees. And yet, research indicates that job activities that encourage independence reduce autism symptoms and increase daily living skills.
Autistic adults often have a low threshold for sensory overload, an inability to adapt to change, and difficulty handling “executive functions,” including managing time, planning, and organizing. However, people with ASD also share some distinct advantages.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about half of those with ASD have average to above-average intelligence. They also may have superior attention to detail, focus, observational skills, ability to retain facts, in-depth knowledge in their areas of interest, respect for rules, and integrity.
of Mental Health
What is autism spectrum disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and
behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a “developmental
disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a guide
created by the American Psychiatric Association used to diagnose mental disorders,
people with ASD have:
⊲ Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people
⊲ Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors
⊲ Symptoms that affect the person’s ability to function in school, work, and other
areas 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. Although ASD can be a lifelong
disorder, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for
autism. All caregivers should talk to their child’s doctor about ASD screening or evaluation.
What are the signs and symptoms of ASD?
People with ASD have difficulty with social communication and interaction and have
restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. The list below gives some examples of the
types of behaviors that are common in people diagnosed with ASD. Not all people with
ASD will have all behaviors, but most will have several of the behaviors listed below.
Social communication/interaction behaviors may include:
⊲ Making little or inconsistent eye contact
⊲ Having a tendency not to look at or listen to people
⊲ Rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing at or showing things
⊲ Failing to, or being slow to, respond to someone calling their name or to other
verbal attempts to gain attention
⊲ Having difficulties with the bac