By Sefa S. Laurence, MSDH, CDA; Lee Melvin, DMD; and Ann M. Bruhn, RDH, BSDH, MS
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent impairment in social communication and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior and interest. The global occurrence of ASD is approximately 1%, while in the United States, about one in 44 individuals is diagnosed with ASD, most frequently during childhood. The age of diagnosis can vary, but 2 years is typically the age at which most diagnoses are made. Boys are four times more likely to be affected by ASD than girls.
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