It is a developmental disorder whose primary symptoms include difficulties in communication and social interaction, and limited, repetitive patterns of behaviour.
Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder worldwide
According to the World Health Organization: One out of every 160 children worldwide has an autism spectrum disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in the United States is:
- In 2020 AD (one out of every 54 children) has autism spectrum disorder.
- In 2018 AD (one out of every 59 children) had an autism spectrum disorder.
The reason for the increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorder
- Diagnostic criteria are becoming more flexible. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) merged Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders-unspecified PDD-NOS, and older autism into a single term, “autism spectrum disorder.”
- The spread of survey programs such as the M-CHAT autism questionnaire test for children (from 16 to 30 months old) to detect and determine the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, and it is done during the periodic appointments of young children.
- Raising awareness in the community of autism spectrum disorder.
- In the past many individuals with autism may have been misdiagnosed with other diagnoses such as intellectual disability: Because with the rise in autism diagnoses, Diagnoses of intellectual disability decreased.