Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by early onset of impairments in social interaction & commun. & unusual, stereotyped behaviors. Autism often is classified with two related, although less severe, developmental disorders: Asperger disorder & pervasive developmental disorder. These three constitute the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Diagnosis of ASDs is based exclusively on developmental pattern & behavioral observation. This report analyzes data that: (1) estimates the population-based prevalence of parental report of diagnosed autism in the U.S.; & (2) assesses parental reporting of child social, emotional, & behavioral strengths & difficulties & special-health care needs among children with & without reported autism.
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