What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or autism, is a developmental disability that may affect multiple aspects of a person’s development.  People with autism don’t look differently but may show differences in how they behave, communicate, and interact with others.  Signs of ASD present in early childhood and may be present throughout the lifespan, with the most obvious signs typically appearing around 2 years of age.

The prevalence rate of ASD – both in Delaware and worldwide – has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, in large part because of our increased ability to recognize its symptoms.  According to the CDC, autism affects approximately 1 of every 59 children and more boys and men have a diagnosis of ASD than girls and women. There are many possible risk factors of autism, but no single cause.  Scientific research has discovered genetic links to autism in some people.