ESDS Community Information on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Last updated 3/16/2021 at 12:26am
NOT as Scary as it Sounds
In recent years, ASD has become a more common childhood diagnosis. However, it is not clear if this is due to better detection and reporting or a real increase in the number of cases, or both. It is very treatable, even more so the earlier a child is diagnosed and gets intervention and support.
What ASD is NOT:
ASD is not caused by vaccines. It is not caused by a mother's use of alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy. It is not because of something caregivers did or something they didn't do. There is no single known cause of the disorder.
What is ASD?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a learning disability that affects language, communication, and play. There is a genetic link, meaning it may be more common within the same family. It is four times more common among boys than girls. Extremely premature (26 weeks or earlier) children are also at greater risk for ASD. It is called a "spectrum" disorder because there is a wide range of severity and impact on daily life, from minor social interaction difficulties to those who require a great deal of support.
What to do if you have concerns:
ESDS Home-Based parent educators will help you do an M-Chat screening if your child is between the ages of 16 months and 3 years. For children older than 3 years, visit with Center-Based staff, special education staff, or the school counselor. If you do have any concerns, please don't wait to seek assistance. A screening or evaluation doesn't change all the wonderful things about your child. It just helps you provide the best support for your child if needed. Remember, early ASD identification is the most helpful and can improve behavior, communication skills, and language development for a lifetime.
Ms. Mary Beth