ASD is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way your child plays, communicates and interacts with others. Although ASD 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2016), ASD affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today. Because it is a spectrum disorder, each person with ASD has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The way individuals with ASD learn, think and problem-solve can range from severely challenged to highly gifted. Some individuals with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, will live
Diagnosing ASD can be difficult because there is no medical test, such as a blood test, that can be used to diagnose the disorder. Professionals that diagnose ASD will look at an individual’s behavior across settings and over time, as well as the individual’s early developmental history. ASD can be reliably diagnosed by two years of age by a skilled clinician.
Early signs of ASD can include, but are not limited to: