Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute

Featured News:

  • New initiative to create reading comprehension intervention tailored to students with autism

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  • Paper by Autism Institute Director Mark O’Reilly, international colleagues wins journal’s 2014 Editors’ Award

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  • Documentary, articles spotlight MCPER researchers’ support of children with autism and their families

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Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute Photo

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that significantly affect social, communication, and language development. Many individuals with ASDs also have intellectual disabilities and display behavior patterns that can be challenging for teachers and parents (e.g., stereotyped and ritualistic behaviors). In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children diagnosed with this condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of ASDs has increased from 4 to 5 per 10,000 live births a decade ago to 1 per 100 today. ASDs include autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, Rett’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disability not otherwise specified. ASDs are typically lifelong conditions, and these individuals require educational and other supports to fully participate in inclusive settings, such as regular classrooms, the workplace, and the community.​