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Autism Spectrum Disorder Statistics

Autism Spectrum Disorder Statistics: Summary

While it is clear that more children than ever before are being classified as having an autism spectrum disorder, it is unclear how much of this increase is due to changes in how we identify and classify ASDs in people, or whether this is due to a true increase in prevalence. However, using our current standards, the ASDs are the second most common serious developmental disability after mental retardation/intellectual impairment, but are still less common than other conditions that affect children's development, such as speech and language impairments, learning disabilities, and ADHD.
 
The impact of having a developmental disability is immense for the families affected and for the community services that provide intervention and support for these families. It is important that we treat common DDs, and especially the autism spectrum disorders, as conditions of urgent public health concern, do all we can to identify children's learning needs, and begin intervention as early as possible to enable all children to reach their full potential.
 
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