What is Autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disability. It is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function and development (1).

Autism usually presents itself during the first three years of a person's life (2). People across all autism spectrum disorders typically have difficulties with social interaction, as well as with verbal and non-verbal communication (3). The spectrum has a wide range. People who are “on the spectrum” could have very different abilities and experiences. Some people with ASD also have special skills in specific areas like math, music, or art. (5)

CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early program provides parents, childcare professionals, and healthcare providers free resources, in English and Spanish, for monitoring children’s development. The program offers parent-friendly, research-based milestone checklists for children as young as 2 months of age. CDC’s Milestone Tracker Mobile App can help parents track their child’s development and share the information with their healthcare providers. For more information visit www.cdc.gov/ActEarly. (4)

Autism affects 1 in 68 children (4).

  1. Johnson, C.P., Myers, S.M. & Council on Children with disabilities, 2007.
  2. Johnson, C.P., et al., 2007.
  3. CDC, 2012.
  4. CDC, 2016.
  5. WebMd, 2018

In this video...

Sixth grader Jack Lebersfeld explains Asperger's Syndrome to his classmates.

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