Updated: Oct 30, 2019
According to the CDC around 1 in 59 children in the United States have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). By today's population numbers, that equates to 1.3 million kids.
That's a huge number, right? Well, a recent study by the National Survey of Children’s Health showed that that number will likely increase to 1 in 40, or 1.9 million in 2019.
The increase in ASD cases in the United States is telling. These numbers may steadily continue to rise as they have over the past decade. If they do, we as a society need to ensure that we are well versed in how to provide the best support. That's why we need to start a conversation now to demystify ASD, and better understand those in our community who live with and around it.
So, where do we start?
Know the Signs/Symptoms
Just like ASD itself, signs and symptoms exist on a spectrum. They generally start early in life, but this could mean anywhere from a few months old to a few years old. The way in which you experience the signs and symptoms varies widely as well. Some only see a few signs, and others are overwhelmed by several symptoms. Each case is incredibly unique, and understandably challenging. Here is what our friends over at Autism Speaks want you to look for:
Social communication challenges...
Children and adults with autism have difficulty with both verbal and non-verbal communication. They may not understand or appropriately use:
Spoken language (around a third of people with autism are nonverbal)
Tone of voice
Expressions not meant to be taken literally
Additional social challenges...
Recognizing emotions and intentions in others
Recognizing one’s own emotions