General Article Autism spectrum disorders

Topic Selected: Disabilities Book Volume: 393

Key facts

  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a diverse group of conditions. Characteristics of autism may be detected in early childhood, but autism is often not diagnosed until much later.
  • About one in 160 children has an ASD (1).
  • The abilities and needs of people with autism vary and can evolve over time.
  • While some people with autism can live independently, others have severe disabilities and require life-long care and support.
  • Evidence-based psychosocial interventions can improve communication and social skills, with a positive impact on the well-being and quality of life of people with autism and also their caregivers.
  • People with autism are often subject to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations.
  • Care for people with autism needs to be accompanied by actions at community and societal levels for greater accessibility, inclusivity and support.


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a diverse group of conditions. They are characterised by some degree of d...

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