Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the second most common developmental disability following intellectual disability. ASD is more common than childhood cancer, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis combined. It is estimated that up to 1 out of every 68 children born today has some form of ASD. Evidence suggests that the prevalence rate in North Carolina is even higher than the national average, at 1 in 59.
It is estimated that approximately 1.5 million Americans (children and adults) have ASD today, and that more than 15 million Americans (loved ones, caregivers, educators, and health-care professionals) are directly impacted by the disorder. In the state of North Carolina alone, there are over 60,000 individuals living with ASD.
The overall incidence of ASD is consistent around the globe, but it is five times more prevalent in boys than girls. ASD knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries, and family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of occurrence. While ASD is typically diagnosed in children, it is a lifelong disorder that affects individuals of all ages.