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What are autism spectrum disorders?

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Autism spectrum disorder is a group of disabilities that affect the communication, behavior and social interaction and interests that is common among children. Boys are more affected with this condition than girls, as stated by WebMD. Early diagnosis is imperative, as it may help a child suffering from autism to improve his or her social life and language skills.

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Children with ASD may not behave or act in the same way because the disorder might be mild or severe. Some children may behave normally after birth until getting to a certain age when they start experiencing the symptoms. The CDC has identified the three main types of ASD including autistic disorder, Asperger's syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, as stated by WebMD. Early symptoms of ASD are usually confused with a minor delay in child development.

As of 2014, the diagnosis of ASD is quite challenging because there is no medical test that can be used to figure it out, as stated by CDC. Typically, doctors will observe and monitor the behavior of children to identify any signs of autism. There is also no cure for ASD, as stated by CDC. However, research has indicated that early medical attention can help a child's development. It is estimated that one out of 68 children in the United States is affected by the disorder.

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