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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Key Points about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain-based disorder with a strong genetic component.
  • There is no specific medical test to diagnose ASD.
  • ASD is characterized along a spectrum, meaning that there is a wide variety of ways in which autistic traits may manifest in different individuals.
  • ASD is found in children of all racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. It occurs in both boys and girls, but is more common in boys.
  • The first signs of ASD are often seen between the ages of 12 and 24 months, but many children may not show clear signs until much later.
  • Early identification and intensive intervention can have a significant impact on future academic, behavioral and adaptive success.
  • Children’s National Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders and the hospital-based Autism Behavioral Communications (ABC) team provide services to support the growth and development of your child with autism spectrum disorder. 
  • What is autism spectrum disorder?
  • What causes autism?
  • What are the common challenges of autism spectrum disorder?
  • What are the common strengths of autism spectrum disorder?
  • How is autism spectrum disorder diagnosed?
  • How is autism spectrum disorder treated?
  • How can ASD families live their best lives?
Children's Team

Children's Team


Anne Inge

Anne Inge

Clinical Director, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Lauren Kenworthy

Lauren Kenworthy

Director, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
John Strang

John Strang

Director, Gender and Autism Program

Other Team Members

Autism Visual Toolkit

casd toolkit

The visual supports and resources offered by the Beyond the Spectrum team at Children's National Hospital help medical staff and parents to make procedures and treatments easier for children with communication, sensory or behavioral special needs.

View our Autism Visual Supports and Resources