What is Autism? :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

What is Autism?

Dr. Daniel Coury, Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, talks about Autism.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 1 in 68 children has been identified with an ASD.

Dr. Coury explains what Autism is, why there is a spectrum of Autism disorders, how common the disorder is and what causes it.

Transcription of What is Autism?


Question Slide: What is Autism?

Dr. Daniel Coury: Autism is a disorder where people have problems in three areas. One is in communication, the second area is in social interaction, how they get along with other people, and the third area is their range of interests.


Question Slide: What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Dr. Daniel Coury: There are grades of each of these ranging from mild to severe. So for this reason we call it a spectrum.


Question Slide: How common is Autism?

Dr. Daniel Coury: The latest estimates from the The Centers for Disease Control are that one in 88 people are diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder, the risk is even higher in males where one in 54 males are getting a diagnosis on the Autism spectrum.


Question Slide: What causes Autism?

Dr. Daniel Coury: We don't know what causes autism right now, we do know that it has a strong genetic tendency.


There are several genes that have been identified as having an increased risk, but that doesn't begin to explain all the cases of autism that we are seeing nowadays. But since we don't know what causes autism, we aren't really able to prevent it.


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