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About Autism

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder, more generally referred to as ‘autism.’ Autism is diagnosed based on difficulties with social communication and behaviour, but there is significant variability among individuals who share the diagnosis. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and social groups, but is almost five times more likely to occur in boys than girls.

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Stats and Facts About Autism 

  • The U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 1 in 68 children have autism. This marks a 23% increase since 2009, and a 78% increase since 2007. (CDC, 2012)
  • Autism is almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls 
  • There are over 11,000 children and youth in British Columbia diagnosed with autism (Ministry of Children and Family Development, 2011) 
  • Approximately 25% of individuals with autism are nonverbal (i.e., do not speak) but can learn to communicate using other means (e.g., using pictures or assistive technology such as the iPad) (Autism Speaks, 2012)
  • 1 in 17 grandparents are affected by autism
  • 65% of parents reported that their child with autism had been victimized by peers in some way within the past year