- Autism now affects an average of 1 in 58 children.
- Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism.
- Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States.
- More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes, and pediatric cancer combined.
- Caring for all people with autism over their lifetimes costs an estimated $35 billion per year.
- There is no medical test to diagnose autism, nor is there a cure.
- Autism is a spectrum disorder, affecting each person in different ways, and can range from mild to severe.
EARLY SIGNS OF AUTISM
If your child exhibits some of these signs, or if you are concerned with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, or acts, contact your child’s doctor to share your concerns:
- Avoids eye contact
- Prefers to be alone
- Echoes words or phrases
- Has difficulty interacting with others
- Flaps their hands, rocks their body, or spins in circles
- Insists on sameness or repetition
- Has inappropriate attachments to objects
- Laughs or giggles inappropriately
- Dislikes cuddling
- Has difficulty expressing needs; may use gestures
- Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
- Displays lack of fear of dangers
- Engages in self-injurious behavior
- Exhibits sustained unusual or repetitive play; uneven physical or verbal skill