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Showing posts from 2017

Early Intervention Models: Internal Focus

Internal Focus:
Methodology is based on entering the child’s ‘inside’ world. The interventions are child led, rather than led by the therapist. The therapist allows the child to choose what will happen during the session. The therapist attempts to engage and interact with the child, based on the child's interests. Therapies include:
DIR / FloortimePRT - Pivotal Response TrainingESDMT - Early Start Denver Model TherapyDIR / Floortime was developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. He was a child psychologist that devoted his professional efforts to helping children with autism and other developmental delays. DIR or Developmental Individual Relationship (DIR) and Floortime became synonymous with his theory that child development centers around the core elements of relationships, communication, behavior and thinking. Parents learn how to use his methods and his intervention system can be utilized at anytime, anywhere. To learn more visit https://www.stanleygreenspan.com.

PRT - Pivotal Response…

An Interview with Chris Brocious

An Interview with Christopher Brocious, Web / App Developer
Chris Brocious developed the “Autism Awareness Screening Test” application. It is available for download in the Apple Store. Mr. Brocious holds two Bachelor of Science degrees. One is in political science from the University of Arkansas – Little Rock (USA) and the other degree is in Spanish from La Autónoma de Guadalajara (Mexico).  To learn more about Chris, read his profile on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-brocious-04386121/ or contact him at Chrisbrocious@yahoo.com for your application / website design needs.
Why did you decide to become a app/web designer?
I have always been intrigued with the potential of learning certain programming languages. Of course, learning a new skill like web/app development might be an opportunity to open doors to a 21st century job market.
Why did you want to do this project pro bono?
I was looking to create a portfolio to show the world that I could offer these services - (web/mo…

Autism Awareness Screening Test App

Screening Tool for Autism now available in the Apple Store

According to the Center for Disease Control:
• “About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
• ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
• ASD is about 4.5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).
• Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with ASD with an average prevalence of between 1% and 2%.
• About 1 in 6 children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.”
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

Why is this app needed?
This app was developed for parents, grandparents and other primary caregivers that…

Developmental Milestones - 5 Years of Age

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Important Milestones: Your Child By 5 Years of Age
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 5 years. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most children do by this age:



Social and Emotional
Wants to please friends Wants to be like friends More likely to agree with rules Likes to sing, dance, and act Is aware of gender Can tell what’s real and what’s make-believe Shows more independence (for example, may visit a next-door neighbor by himself [adult supervision is still needed]) Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative Language/Communication
Speaks very clearly Tells a simple story using full sentences Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.” Says name and address  C…

Developmental Milestones - 4 Years of Age

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Important Milestones: Your Child By 4 Years of Age
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 4 years. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most children do by this age:



Social and Emotional
Enjoys doing new things Plays “Mom” and “Dad” Is more and more creative with make-believe play Would rather play with other children than by himself Cooperates with other children Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in Language/Communication
Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she” Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus” Tells stories Can say firs…

Developmental Milestones - 3 Years of Age

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Important Milestones: Your Child By 3 Years of Age
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 3 years. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most children do by this age:




Social and Emotional
Copies adults and friends Shows affection for friends without prompting Takes turns in games Shows concern for crying friend Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers” Shows a wide range of emotions Separates easily from mom and dad May get upset with major changes in routine  Dresses and undresses self Language/Communication
Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps Can name most familiar things Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under” Says first name, age, and sex  Names a friend Says words li…

Developmental Milestones - 2 Years of Age

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Important Milestones: Your Toddler By 2 Years of Age
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 24 months. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most toddlers do by this age:



Social and Emotional
Copies others, especially adults and older childrenGets excited when with other children  Shows more and more independenceShows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to)Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase gamesLanguage/Communication
Points to things or pictures when they are namedKnows names of familiar people and body partsSays sentences with 2 to 4 wordsFollows simple instructionsRepeats words overheard in conversationPoints to …

Developmental Milestones - 18 months

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Important Milestones: Your Baby By Eighteen Months
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 18 months. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most babies do by this age:



Social and Emotional
Likes to hand things to others as playMay have temper tantrumsMay be afraid of strangersShows affection to familiar peoplePlays simple pretend, such as feeding a dollMay cling to caregivers in new situationsPoints to show others something interestingExplores alone but with parent close byLanguage/Communication
Says several single wordsSays and shakes head “no”Points to show someone what he wantsCognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush,…

Developmental Milestones - 9 months

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Important Milestones: Your Baby By Nine Months
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 9 months. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most babies do by this age:



Social and Emotional

May be afraid of strangersMay be clingy with familiar adultsHas favorite toys
Language/Communication

Understands “no”Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”Copies sounds and gestures of othersUses fingers to point at things
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Watches the path of something as it fallsLooks for things she sees you hidePlays peek-a-booPuts things in his mouthMoves things smoothly from one hand to the otherPicks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index fing…

Developmental Milestones - 6 months

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Important Milestones: Your Baby By Six Months
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 6 months. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most babies do by this age:



Social and Emotional
Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a strangerLikes to play with others, especially parentsResponds to other people’s emotions and often seems happyLikes to look at self in a mirrorLanguage/Communication
Responds to sounds by making soundsStrings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parent while making soundsResponds to own nameMakes sounds to show joy and displeasureBegins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)Cognitive (learning, thinking, pr…

Developmental Milestones - 4 months

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Important Milestones: Your Baby By Four Months
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 4 months. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most babies do by this age:




Social and Emotional
Smiles spontaneously, especially at people Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning Language/Communication
Begins to babble Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired  Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Lets you know if he is happy or sad Responds to affection Reaches for toy with one hand Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and …

Developmental Milestones - 2 months

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Important Milestones: Your Baby By Two Months
Milestone Checklist
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 2 months. Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. What most babies do by this age:



Social and Emotional
Begins to smile at people Can briefly calm herself (may bring hands to mouth and suck on hand) Tries to look at parent Language/CommunicationCoos, makes gurgling sounds Turns head toward soundsCognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Pays attention to faces Begins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distance Begins to act bored (cries, fussy) if activity doesn’t change Movement/Physical Development
Can hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummy Makes smoother movements with arm…

Annual "well child" Check-ups

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Annual "Well Child" check-up:
A “well child” check-up should include a developmental screening test.  If your child’s healthcare provider does not routinely check your child with such a test, insist that it be done. If your child receives Medicaid services, this annual check up is known as the  EPSDT, or Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment Program.





The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular well-child doctor visits at:
9 months18 months24 or 30 months The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that children be screened for autism at 18 and 24 months or whenever a parent or provider has a concern. Ask your child’s doctor about your child’s developmental screening.

Your personal observations and concerns about your child’s development are essential in helping to screen your child as effectively as possible. Remember, you are the expert on your child. Review family vide…

Sensory Processing: Gross Motor Skills

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on gross motor skills: difficulty with the grading of movement.

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS
Difficulty with "Grading Of Movement”:
Misjudges how much to flex and extend muscles during tasks / activities (i.e., putting arms into sleeves or climbing)Difficulty regulating pressure when writing / drawing; may be too light to see or so hard the tip of writing utensil breaksWritten work is messy and he / she often rips the paper when erasingAlways seems to be breaking objects and toysMisjudges the weight of an object, such as a glass of juice, picking it up with too much force sending it flying or spilling, or with too little force and complaining about objects being too heavyMay not understand the idea of "heavy" or "light"; would not be able to hold two objects and tell you which weighs moreSeems to do everything with too m…

Sensory Processing: Fine Motor Skills

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on fine motor skills: poor tactile perception and discrimination.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Poor Tactile Perception and Discrimination:
Has difficulty with fine motor tasks such as buttoning, zipping, and fastening clothesMay not be able to identify which part of their body was touched if they were not lookingMay be afraid of the darkMay be a messy dresser; looks disheveled, does not notice pants are twisted, shirt is half un-tucked, shoes are untied, one pant leg is up and one is down, etc.Has difficulty using scissors, crayons, or silverwareContinues to mouth objects to explore them even after age twoHas difficulty figuring out physical characteristics of objects; shape, size, texture, temperature, weight, etc.May not be able to identify objects by feel and uses vision to help when reaching into backpack or desk to retrieve an item




Sensory Processing: Posture

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on posture: poor muscle tone and / or coordination.

POSTURE
Poor Muscle Tone and / or Coordination:
Has a limp, "floppy" bodyFrequently slumps, lies down, and / or leans head on hand or arm while working at his / her deskDifficulty simultaneously lifting head, arms, and legs off the floor while lying on stomach ("superman" position)Often sits in a "W sit" position on the floor to stabilize bodyTires easily!Compensates for "looseness" by grasping objects tightlyDifficulty turning doorknobs, handles, opening and closing itemsDifficulty catching himself / herself if fallingDifficulty getting dressed and doing fasteners, zippers, and buttonsMay have never crawled as a babyHas poor body awareness; bumps into things, knocks things over, trips, and / or appears clumsyPoor gross motor skills; jumping, ca…

Sensory Processing: Motion

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on motion: hyper-sensitivity and hypo-sensitivity.

MOTION
Hypersensitivity to Movement (Over-Responsive):
Avoids / dislikes playground equipment; i.e., swings, ladders, slides, or merry-go-roundsPrefers sedentary tasks, moves slowly and cautiously, avoids taking risks, and may appear "wimpy"Avoids / dislikes elevators and escalators; may prefer sitting while they are on them or, actually get motion sickness from themMay physically cling to an adult they trustMay appear terrified of falling even when there is no real risk of itAfraid of heights, even the height of a curb or stepFearful of feet leaving the groundFearful of going up or down stairs or walking on uneven surfacesAfraid of being tipped upside down, sideways or backwards; will strongly resist getting hair washed over the sinkStartles if someone else moves them; i.e.,…

Sensory Processing: Smell

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on smell: hyper-sensitivity and hypo-sensitivity.

SMELL
Hypersensitivity to Smells (Over-Responsive):
Reacts negatively to, or dislikes smells which do not usually bother, or get noticed, by other people Tells other people (or talks about) how bad or funny they smell Refuses to eat certain foods because of their smell Offended and / or nauseated by bathroom odors or personal hygiene smells Bothered / irritated by smell of perfume or cologne Bothered by household or cooking smells May refuse to play at someone's house because of the way it smells Decides whether he / she likes someone or some place by the way it smells
Hyposensitivity to Smells (Under-Responsive):
Has difficulty discriminating unpleasant odors May drink or eat things that are poisonous because they do not notice the noxious smell Unable to identify smells from scratch…

Sensory Processing: Touch

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on touch: hyper-sensitivity and hypo-sensitivity.

TOUCH

Hypersensitivity to Touch (Tactile Defensiveness):
Becomes fearful, anxious or aggressive with light or unexpected touchAs an infant did / does not like to be held or cuddled; may arch back, cry, and pull awayDistressed when diaper is being, or needs to be, changedAppears fearful of, or avoids standing in close proximity to other people or peers (especially in lines)Becomes frightened when touched from behind or by someone/something they cannot see (such as under a blanket)Complains about having hair brushed; may be very picky about using a particular brushBothered by rough bed sheets (i.e., if old and "bumpy")Avoids group situations for fear of the unexpected touchResists friendly or affectionate touch from anyone besides parents or siblings (sometimes family members as…

Sensory Processing: Taste

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on taste: hyper-sensitivity and hypo-sensitivity.

TASTE

Hypersensitivity to Oral Input (Oral Defensiveness):
Picky eater, often with extreme food preferences; i.e., limited repertoire of foods, picky about brands, resistive to trying new foods or restaurants, and may not eat at other people's houses) May only eat "soft" or pureed foods past 24 months of age May gag with textured foods Has difficulty with sucking, chewing, and swallowing; may choke or have a fear of choking Resists / refuses / extremely fearful of going to the dentist or having dental work done May only eat hot or cold foods Refuses to lick envelopes, stamps, or stickers because of their taste Dislikes or complains about toothpaste and mouthwash Avoids seasoned, spicy, sweet, sour or salty foods; prefers bland foods Hyposensitivity to Oral Input (Under-Regi…

Sensory Processing : Sound

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on sound: hyper-sensitivity and hypo-sensitivity

SOUND

Hypersensitivity to Sounds (Auditory Defensiveness):
Distracted by sounds not normally noticed by others; i.e., humming of lights or refrigerators, fans, heaters, or clocks ticking Fearful of the sound of a flushing toilet (especially in public bathrooms), vacuum, hairdryer, squeaky shoes, or a dog barking Startled with or distracted by loud or unexpected sounds Bothered / distracted by background environmental sounds; i.e., lawn mowing or outside construction Frequently asks people to be quiet; i.e., stop making noise, talking, or singing Runs away, cries, and / or covers ears with loud or unexpected sounds May refuse to go to movie theatres, parades, skating rinks, musical concerts etc. May decide whether they like certain people by the sound of their voice
Hyposensitivity to Soun…

Sensory Processing: Sight

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Sensory Processing is the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We understand the world around us through our senses. This blog will focus on sight: hyper-sensitivity and hypo-sensitivity

SIGHT

Hypersensitivity to Visual Input (Over-Responsive):
Sensitive to bright lights; will squint, cover eyes, cry and / or get headaches from the light Has difficulty keeping eyes focused on task/activity he / she is working on for an appropriate amount of time Easily distracted by other visual stimuli in the room; i.e., movement, decorations, toys, windows, doorways etc. Has difficulty in bright colorful rooms or a dimly lit room Rubs his / her eyes, has watery eyes or gets headaches after reading or watching TV Avoids eye contact 



Hyposensitivity to Visual Input (Under-Responsive): Difficulty with Tracking, Discrimination, or PerceptionHas difficulty telling the difference between similar printed letters or figures; i.e., p & q, b & d, + and x, or square and rectangle Has a hard…

Professionals and Para-Professionals that Frequently work with Individuals on the Spectrum

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When choosing the right therapist for your child, it is always helpful to follow up on the credentials, licensure and experience of each professional that will be working with your child.  The following information is not all inclusive, but offers a list of the most common professions that provide services to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The following professions MUST have a license to practice:
ALC - Associate Licensed CounselorBCBA - Board Certified Behavior AnalystLCSW - Licensed Clinical Social WorkerLPC - Licensed Professional CounselorNCC - National Certified CounselorOT - Occupational TherapistPT - Physical TherapistPsychiatrist - Medical Doctor with additional training in field of psychology - only MD’s can write prescriptions for medications at this timePsyD - Clinical Psychologist (PhD level with emphasis on counseling)SPL - Speech Language Pathologist The following professionals MAY or MAY NOT have a licensure requirement, depending on individual State G…

Comparison of Federal vs. State “Early Intervention” Programs

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Federal “Early Intervention”
•Covers birth to age 3
•Need is not determined by income
•Requires determination of medical need by physician

"Early Intervention" - Federal program for ages birth to 3 years regardless of income to provide a variety of interventions for individuals born with special needs.

State “Early Intervention”
•Covers ages 3 to 5
•Need may be determined by income
•Must show necessity for intervention based on ‘ability to learn’ as determined by the local Public Education Board

"Early Intervention" - State programs for ages 3 - 5 years of age. Designed to provide interventions that will help the child become better prepared to begin and succeed in the public educational system.

After the child reaches the age of 3, the child will “age out” of the Federal program. The child may begin receiving services from the State, based on a different set of needs criteria, as determined by each State.  It is very important that the parent initiate discussion and …

Learning How to Speak "Autism"

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Whether you have been involved with the ASD community a short time or a long time, you may want to know how to "talk the talk" of various professional resources. Assessment - also called "instrument", "scale”, “test", "inventory", "questionnaire". A "battery" of assessments means that the individual was evaluated using a variety of items. Concrete Thinking - refers to individual with an ASD taking conversations literally. Example: "don't throw the baby out with the bath water!" my child overheard me & became very afraid that  "somebody threw a baby away" Desensitization - exposes the individual to environment / object / food / etc. that causes a negative reaction from the child Helpful Info: Go SLOW  with very small exposure times Feeding jag - refers to eating habits: some individuals on the spectrum will severely limit the type of food consumed Example:  My child once spent 4 1/2 months eating nothing b…

Abbreviations Every Parent Should Know

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ADA -  Americans with Disabilities Act
BIP - Behavior Intervention Plan
ESY - Extended School Year
FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education
FBA - Functional Behavioral Assessment
FSP - Family Service Plan
IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEE - Independent Educational Evaluation
IEP - Individual Education Plan
IHO - Impartial Hearing Officer
ISP - Individual Service Plan
LRE - Least Restrictive Environment
M-D - Manifestation - Determination
OCR - Office for Civil Rights
OSEP - Office of Special Education Programs
RTI - Response To Intervention
SEA - State Education Agency
SEP - Supportive Employment Plan
SLD - Specific Learning Disability


NPO - nothing by mouth
qd - every day
bid - twice a day
tid - three times daily
qid - four times daily
q4h - every 4 hours (or every 2 hours, 3 hours or 6 hours, for example)
qhs - bedtime (hour of sleep)
qam - every morning
po – by mouth




5 Quick Facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder

Individuals with ASD often have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.

The Center for Disease Control estimates:
1 in every 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).Five times more common among boys than among girls. ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groupsThe estimated prevalence of ASD has increased roughly 123% since 2002.Almost half (46%) of children identified with ASD had average or above average intellectual ability (IQ > 85)  
Reference:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/addm.html
March 2014 report

15 Common Indicators of Autism Spectrum Disorders:

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May avoid eye contactMay prefer to be aloneMay echo words or phrases of othersMay spin objects / self or hand flappingMay insist on sameness of daily routinesMay have difficulty interacting with othersMay have inappropriate attachments to objects May be fixated on limited subjects of interest or pieces of objectsMay have inappropriate behavior - laughing / giggling or crying / screamingMay not want to be held or cuddledMay have inappropriate response to sights, sounds, tastes, smellsMay have no real fear of dangerMay have high tolerance for physical painMay use gestures to communicate with little age appropriate vocabularyMay have unusual, sustained or repetitive play