Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe a group of developmental disorders that include Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Rett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD). ASD is a complex, lifelong condition that affects individuals from all walks of life, as well as their families, friends and caregivers.
Many individuals with ASD have trouble communicating with others or difficulty with regular social interactions. Other signs include a tendency toward repetitive behaviours, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests. ASD develops differently from person to person, and the effects can range from relatively mild to debilitating. Unlike some conditions, there is no "typical" person with ASD. In 2011 it was estimated that approximately one in every 150-160 children has ASD. Signs are usually detected in early childhood, with boys being four times more likely to have the condition than girls.
While there is no cure for ASD, many children benefit from early diagnosis and treatment.
Source: Its' Your Health - Autism Spectrum Disorders, Health Canada, 2011/2013