April 2 marks the 14th annual World Autism Awareness Day, bringing attention to those with autism, encouraging research on the disorder, and promoting wellness and inclusion.
According to the Autism Speaks organization, autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disability with a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. There is no cure for Autism spectrum disorders.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that diagnosing ASD can be difficult as there is no explicit medical test, such as a blood test, to diagnose the disorders. It is diagnosed based on someone’s developmental history. Autism can be detected as early 18 months, but some cases may not be diagnosed until adulthood.
Approximately one in 59 children are diagnosed with ASD, with the diagnosis being more prevalent in boys than girls.