About What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It is a “spectrum disorder” because it encompasses a wide range of symptoms and severity levels.

1 in 100

It is estimated that worldwide about 1 in 100 children has autism. *

Symptoms and Characteristics

Each individual with autism is unique with a mix of following characteristics.

Communication Challenges

Individuals with autism may experience difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication. Some may have delayed language development, while others might have a rich vocabulary but struggle with social interactions.

Social Impairments

People with autism often have difficulties in understanding and interpreting social cues, making it challenging to establish and maintain relationships. They may have trouble forming friendships.

Repetitive Behaviors

Many individuals with autism engage in repetitive behaviors or restricted interests. This can include repetitive movements (like hand-flapping or rocking), insistence on sameness, and intense focus on specific topics.


Autism is typically diagnosed in early childhood although it can be diagnosed at any age. The Diagnosis involves comprehensive assessments, interviews, and observations by healthcare professionals, psychologists, and developmental specialists.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is commonly used for diagnosing autism with criteria based on social communication challenges and restrictive and repetitive behaviors.

Risk Factors

The exact causes of autism are still under study however, it is believed to be resulted from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Genetic factors can play a significant role as there is a higher risk of autism among siblings of individuals with the disorder. Certain genetic mutations and variations have been associated with autism.

Environmental factors such as prenatal complications, advanced parental age and exposure to certain drugs during pregnancy may contribute to the risk.


Each person with autism has unique set of challenges. Early intervention and supportive environment can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with autism. Following are key areas of intervention:

Advocacy and Awareness

  • Autism advocacy organizations work to raise awareness, promote acceptance, and advocate for policies that support individuals with autism and their families.
  • World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated annually on April 2nd to promote understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

* Global prevalence of autism: A systematic review update. Zeidan J et al. Autism Research 2022 March.