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What is autism spectrum disorder?

According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that causes differences in the brain (CDC, 2022). Autism affects how people learn, communicate, interact, and behave with others. Individuals from all genders, races, ethnicities, and economic groups have been diagnosed with ASD.  Approximately 39% of individuals do not receive an ASD diagnosis until after the age of 4 years old (Yu et al., 2020).  While there remains no evidence of completely recovering autism, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and lifelong health conditions (NIMH, 2022). Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy is considered the "gold standard treatment" for autism treatment. According to, Dr. Ivar Lovaas 90% of children who receive applied behavior analysis (ABA) based support services achieve success (Lovaas, O. I., 1987). ABA has demonstrated effectiveness in improving language and social functions in children with ASD (Yu et al., 2020). 

Did You Know?

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Do people with autism have a mental health disorder?

What are common mental illnesses in people with autism?

Why is it important to address health & wellness in people with autism?

People with autism have a developmental disability. It is not a mental health disorder. Autistic people can be mentally well. When people with autism also experience a mental illness, a Behavior Analyst can help by making referrals to a mental health professional.

Common mental illnesses in people with autism include: 

Addressing health and wellness in people with autism is important because studies report that autistic adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions along with self-reported lower quality healthcare than others (Weir, 2022). 

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