ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior.
Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association used to diagnose mental disorders, people with ASD have:
1.- Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people
2.- Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors
3.-Symptoms that hurt the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life.
Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.
ASD occurs in all ethnic, racial, and economic groups. Although ASD can be a lifelong disorder, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for autism. All caregivers should talk to their doctor about ASD screening or evaluation.