Siblings of children with ASD report greater admiration and less conflict with the affected sibling than siblings of unaffected children, like siblings of children with Down syndrome. But they reported lower levels of closeness and intimacy than siblings of children with Down syndrome; siblings of people with ASD have a greater risk of negative well-being and poorer sibling relationships as adults. It is now known that autism is a highly variable neurodevelopmental disorder that is generally thought to cover a broad and deep spectrum, manifesting very differently from one person to another.
Press Resources Information about NIMH, research results, summaries of scientific meetings, and mental health resources. Research Conducted at NIMH The Division of Intramural Research Programs is the internal research division of the NIMH. Over 40 research groups conduct basic neuroscience research and clinical investigations of mental illnesses, brain function, and behavior at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Science Education Use these free digital, outreach materials in your community and on social media to spread the word about mental health. Digital Shareables Use these free education and outreach materials in your community and on social media to spread the word about mental health and related topics.
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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is published by the American Psychiatric Association . Clinicians use it to diagnose a variety of psychiatric disorders. ASD can involve a range of issues with communication, many of which appear before age 5. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , ASD is diagnosed more often in boys than in girls. A study of 8-year-olds in 11 locations throughout the United States found a 4.3-to-1, boy-to-girl ratio in 2016.
People with ASD often demonstrate restricted and repetitive interests or patterns of behavior. Record conversations and meetings with health care providers and teachers. This information may help when it’s time to decide which programs and services are appropriate.
Timely access to early evidence-based psychosocial interventions can improve the ability of autistic children to communicate effectively and interact socially. The monitoring of child development as part of routine maternal and child health care is recommended. Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.
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The list below gives some examples of common types of behaviors in people diagnosed with ASD. Not all people with ASD will have all behaviors, but most will have several of the behaviors listed below.