What is Autism?
Autism is a brain-based developmental disorder with no scientifically proven cause or cure. It is a spectrum disorder, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. No two persons with autism will exhibit the same symptoms. Each person with autism is unique.
People with autism and their families need our support and acceptance to safely navigate in our world.
How Common is Autism?
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network reported that approximately 1 in 68 children in the United States has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. This new estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than previous estimates reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children. In the 1980’s autism prevalence was reported as 1 in 10,000. In the nineties, prevalence was 1 in 2500 and later 1 in 1000. It is problematic to compare autism rates over the last three decades, as the diagnostic criteria for autism have changed with each revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). In 1983 the DSM did not recognize PDD-NOS or Asperger’s syndrome, and the criteria for autistic disorder (AD) were more restrictive.
ASDs continue to be almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189) and they are reported in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Studies have been conducted in several continents (Asia, Europe, and North America) that report a prevalence rate of approximately 1 percent.
Where Can I Get More Information about Autism?
Is Autism Caused by Poor Parenting?
It is a myth that poor parenting causes autism. Parents do not and cannot cause autism. While there is presently no known cause for autism, it is known that parental behaviour before, during, and after pregnancy does not cause ASD to develop.