While the cause of ASD is unknown, current research suggests biological or neurological differences in the brain that may begin during pregnancy or shortly after birth.
Research also suggests that there may be a genetic basis in many instances although not all.
How common is Autism?
A prevalence study by the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2007 concluded that 1 in 160 Australian children aged between 6 and 12 years old have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (Australian Advisory Board on Australian Spectrum Disorders, 2007) – that is over 10,000 Australia children. However more recent studies suggest this figure could be around 1 in 100 children (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).
That means the condition is now more common than cerebal palsy, diabetes, deafness, blindness and leukaemia put together.
There is a higher incidence of ASD in males then females.
Is there a cure?
The cause of ASD is not fully understood. Although there is no cure, appropriate early interventions, therapy and education delivered by professionals with expertise in ASD can make a significant difference.
These options can:
reduce some of the associated challenges
enhance the development of skills
improve quality of life