Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Autism puzzle piece

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life and lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. It is a spectrum disorder with a wide range of characteristics ranging from mild to severe. Individuals with autism demonstrate difficulties in social interaction, communication, and behavior. Each person will display communication, social, and behavioral patters that are unique to the individual but fit into the overall diagnosis of ASD. People with autism also process and respond to information in unique ways. For more complete information visit the Autism Society of America.


Did you know?

  • One in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder
  • It is 5 times more prevalent in boys than in girls
  • Growth comparison during 1990:
    • U.S. population increase:13%
    • Disabilities increase: 16%
    • Autism increase: 172%
  • The cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention
  • Autism is the fastest growing disability

(Source: Autism Society of America


Autism Statistics in Virginia

In the past decade students receiving special education services has significantly increased in the state of Virginia.  Autism identification has increased 332% in the Virginia over the past ten years.  This is an average of 18% a year, higher than the national average.


 Chart showing Autism identification has increased 332% in past ten years

Explore areas of this website to learn more about research based interventions and strategies for working with students with autism.