Autism Spectrum Disorders
What is Autism?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is classified as a developmental disorder, with or without intellectual disability (ID), which is characterized by impairment(s) in reciprocal social communication and social interaction (i.e. turn taking activities, such as a two person conversation) and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities (i.e. an individual who talks exclusively about trains). These characteristics are typically present from early childhood and may limit or impair everyday functioning.
Today, the CDC estimates that roughly 1 in 68 children in the United States have ASDs. Boys are five times more likely to have ASDs as compared to girls.
How Does The Arc Help People with ASDs and Their Families?
People with ASDs and the family members who care about them need support in many ways. Families need help navigating and getting the support they need.
The Arc has over 650 state and local chapters that serve people with various intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. The Arc’s Autism Now: The National Autism Resource and Information Center is a dynamic and interactive lifeline of resources and information for families in need.
For more information, visit The Arc at thearc.org and The Arc’s Autism Now Center at autismnow.org.
Download our Autism Fact Sheet
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition, 2013