Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a developmental disability that contributes to challenges in socializing, communication and behavior. Children and teenagers with ASD may communicate, interact, behave and learn in different ways than is typical of most children and teenagers. ASD is a diagnostic term used for conditions that were previously diagnosed separately: pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 54 children have been identified with ASD in the United States. ASD is four times more common in boys than it is in girls.
Research has indicated that the autism population faces a higher mortality risk than the general population, with drowning among the leading causes of death. Additionally, children with ASD face higher rates of bullying from peers, as well as sexual abuse, compared to the general population.
There is no single diagnostic test for ASD. Medical professionals can make a diagnosis based upon behavior. A diagnosis of ASD by the age of two is typically reliable, but some children may not receive a final diagnosis until they are older. Though there is no single cure for ASD, many intervention treatments services have been demonstrated as effective in improving the development of a child diagnosed with ASD. Early intervention is crucial.
Families with young children with ASD may benefit from early childhood services at the Marks Family Right from the Start 0-3+ Center (RFTS) in Manhasset. RFTS offers parent education as well as therapeutic and support services for young children. North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center also offers the Grandparent Advocates Supporting Autistic Kids (GASAK) program, a monthly meeting of grandparents to support, inform and advocate for families with autistic children. For more information about our services for both young children and for teens, please call us at 516-626-1971.
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