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Information about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Sources:  the European Commission (EC) public health & WHO websites (April 2017)[1]: 
·         Both WHO & EC estimate that 0.62–0.70% of the population worldwide is affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
 
·         ASD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder.  As the term spectrum suggests, Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms exist along a continuum.  This means that autism affects people in various ways and at different levels of severity.
 
·         Parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in children. Even in infancy, a baby with autism may be unresponsive to people, or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods. 
 
·         Autistic children have difficulties with social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and repetitive behaviour. These behaviours can range in impact from mild to disabling.
 
·         Intervention during early childhood is important to promote the optimal development and well-being of children affected by ASD.
 
·         Early support and intervention can have a significant positive impact on the developmental outcomes of children with ASD, and can also improve parental well-being by addressing concerns and reducing the stress associated with untreated ASD and co-morbid behavioral challenges.