As of 2010, the CDC has reported that about 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), occurring in all occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.“Prevalence among non-Hispanic white children (12.0 per 1,000) was significantly greater than among non-Hispanic black children (10.2 per 1,000) and Hispanic children (7.9 per 1,000).
Autism Spectrum Disorder3Given that there are no clearly documented differences between these groups in terms of risk factors for ASD, disparities in prevalence estimates suggest under-identification among Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children” (CDC, 2014). Prevalence of autism has increased by 119.4% from 2000 to 2010, increasing by 6-15% each year from 2002 to 2010, per the CDC. In the United States, more than 3.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with ASD. Autism related services cost, on annually cost on average $236-262 billion for U.S citizens, with the majority of the cost being for adult services. With early diagnosis and intervention, the cost of lifelong care for ASD individuals can be reduced by 2/3. According to a 2016 CDC report, ASD is about 4.5 times more common among boys than among girls. “Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with ASD with an average prevalence of between 1% and 2%.” (Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), 2015)The diagnosis of autism requires evaluation by a professional. “In order to diagnose autism, medical professionals look at a child’s specific behaviors. Some of these behaviors may be obvious in the first few months of a child’s life, or they may appear at any time during the early years. Diagnosing autism can often be difficult due to the similarity if symptoms shared with other mental disorders such as ADHD, sensory processing disorder, social anxiety, other learning disabilities, speech delay, OCD, social anxiety, and being gifted. In fact, those with autism spectrum disorder can often be in combination with other disorders. Some individuals can often have very mild symptoms, resulting in being diagnosed with several other disorders before finally being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Asperger’s syndrome consists of sensory processing disorder, social anxiety and OCD symptoms. Symptom severity can vary fromone individual to the next, and symptoms can vary between the genders as well. Diagnosis of autism consists of two stages. The first stage is a developmental screening during ‘well child’ check-ups. The second stage involves a thorough evaluation by a
Autism Spectrum Disorder4multidisciplinary team” (My Child Without Limits, 2018). The multidisciplinary team often consists of a Developmental Pediatrician, Child Neurologist, a Child Psychologist and Psychiatrist. Possible diagnostic tools can include: “AutismDiagnosticInterview (ADI), AutismDiagnosticObservation Schedule (ADOS), Bayleyor theMullen Scales of Early Learning(MSEL, Mullen), Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS)” (Autism Science Foundation, 2018). It is important that once a child is screened, and receives a diagnosis, early