Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), also known as autism, is a disorder that refers to a broad range of conditions and challenges with social skills, behavior, speech and nonverbal communication. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, there are a wide range of challenges each individual faces, along with a wide range of strengths each person with autism has. So, in honor of April being Autism Awareness Month, we’re helping you understand ASD a little better through education, facts and simply by spreading awareness about just how common ASD is.  

How Do You Know If Your Child Has Autism?  

If you are an expecting mother or have recently had a child, this may be a question coming to your mind. There are many signs of ASD for you to look out for, but rest assured your pediatrician or family doctor will work with you if you have any concerns. Some common signs of ASD to be aware of are:  

  • Not responding to their name  
  • Avoiding eye contact  
  • Not smiling when smiled at  
  • Repetitive, ticking movements  
  • Difficulties understanding people's feelings  
  • Persistent repetitive phrases or words  

Facts About ASD 

  • 1 in 44 children in the U.S. have an ASD  
  • 1 in 27 boys identified with autism  
  • 1 in 116 girls identified with autism  
  • Minority groups tend to be diagnosed later and less often  
  • There is no medical detection or test for ASD  
  • Generally, this is detected before the age of 3, often even before 2 
  • There is no cure for ASD  
  • 10% of children with ASD also have another disorder  

What Causes Autism?  

While there isn’t a direct link to the cause of ASD, it typically comes down to genetics. There are different mutations, genetic disorders and other abnormalities that can result in ASD that are often not preventable.

A child may be at higher risk of developing ASD if:  

  • They are born to older parents  
  • They have a sibling with ASD  
  • They are male - boys are four times more likely to develop ASD  
  • They have other disorders  
  • They are extremely preterm  

One common myth about ASD is that vaccines can cause this which is very untrue. Vaccines have been proven to be safe and there is no link between the two.  

We hope this sheds some light on ASD, so you feel more aware and educated about this disorder. Lastly, we wanted to note if you do ever have questions or concerns with your child and ASD, please consult your family doctor as early intervention is best for optimal treatment. As always, Life Tech is here for you and your family to support you every step of the way.