Autism Spectrum Conditions

Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are a group of neurological developmental conditions characterized by challenges in social communication and social interaction, as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities.  Although ASC can be diagnosed at any age it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms appear in the first two years of life. ASC is a “spectrum” because there is a wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.  As documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ASC affects 1 in 59 children worldwide, with 4 boys to every girl diagnosed.  This rising prevalence represents a 35-fold increase since the earliest studies were conducted in the late 1960s.  While there is no single cause of ASC, research suggests that genes can act together with influences from the environment to affect development in ways that lead to ASC.