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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a behavioral profile present in early childhood. ASD is defined by deficits in communication and socialization, as well as the presence of restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. Social deficits include diminished nonverbal communication (e.g., eye contact, gestures, pointing), and a failure to share experiences with others, both of which result in an inability to form reciprocal relationships 1. Males are affected with ASD more frequently than females with an average male-to-female ratio of 4:1. ASD includes various conditions, including Autistic Disorder (or Autism), classified as Pervasive Developmental Disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Revised (DSM-IV-TR). ASD is typically diagnosed in early childhood and remains a lifelong condition. It is currently estimated that as many as 1 in 88 children in the United States has ASD 1. The prevalence has increased steadily over the past decades, and while we know there has been an increase in the diagnosis of ASD, it is not known whether this is due to a true increase in incidence. Healthcare expenditures are three to ten times greater for children with ASD than typically developing children. A condition that frequently co-occurs with ASD is intellectual disability (ID). ID is defined in the DSM-IV as IQ at or below 70 and impairment in adaptive functioning. ID is characterized by cognitive and ...
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