Autism Fact Sheet

Explore how autism differs from other forms of developmental disabilities with this comprehensive Autism Fact Sheet. Download a free PDF for your reference in this guide.

By Ericka Pingol on Apr 11, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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Understanding autism spectrum disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifaceted developmental condition characterized by a variety of symptoms and personal differences. Challenges in social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and communication difficulties are common features.

Unlike other neurological disorders, autism encompasses a broad spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders that can vary significantly from one person to another, impacting how they navigate daily life and social connections.

Causes can be anywhere from genetic factors to environmental influences, though the exact etiology of autism is still largely unknown. However, early screening for ASD can lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention, which has been shown to improve outcomes for individuals with this condition.

Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in both identifying and managing autism spectrum disorder. Timely detection, often through close observation of developmental milestones, is essential for enhancing outcomes for ASD patients. It is recommended to screen all children for ASD during their 18- and 24-month well-child visits.

Printable Autism Fact Sheet

Download the Autism Fact Sheet for accurately diagnosing ASD and determining the best treatment approach.


Symptoms of ASD can present themselves in different ways and may appear at various stages of development. The most common signs include social interaction, communication, and behavior difficulties. These symptoms usually appear in early childhood but may not be recognized or diagnosed later.

Individuals with autism often experience sensory issues, hypersensitivity, or hyposensitivity to specific sights, sounds, textures, tastes, or smells. This heightened sensitivity can result in strong reactions and challenges in processing their environment (Hodges et al., 2020).

In addition, repetitive behaviors and restricted interests are hallmarks of autism. This may manifest as hand flapping, spinning objects, rigid routines, and fixations on specific topics or objects.

Moreover, individuals with ASD may have difficulty understanding nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions. This can make it challenging for them to interpret social interactions and establish meaningful relationships (Pelzl et al., 2023).

Co-occurring conditions

Autism often co-occurs with other conditions, just like other developmental disabilities. This can complicate diagnosis and treatment. Some of the most common comorbidities include:

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is estimated that around 30% to 50% of individuals with ASD also have ADHD (Hours et al., 2022). This can make it challenging for individuals with autism to stay focused and engage in structured activities.

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder, are also common among individuals with autism. According to autism statistics, up to 40% of individuals with ASD experience significant anxiety. This can manifest as difficulty in social situations, irrational fears, and obsessive thoughts or behaviors.

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD)

CDD, or Heller's syndrome, is a rare condition linked to pervasive developmental disorders. In CDD, a child typically develops before suddenly experiencing significant declines in social, communicative, and behavioral skills. While similar to autistic disorder, CDD differs in symptom onset timing and pattern. Understanding these differences is vital for tailoring development plans for each child.

Other intellectual disabilities

Intellectual disabilities, ranging in severity, are another common condition that can coexist with autism, affecting how a child develops and acquires new skills. Developmental disability caused by intellectual challenges can significantly impact a person's daily functioning and quality of life.

Health professionals, including child psychologists and psychiatrists, work to differentiate between autism and other developmental disabilities to tailor appropriate support and interventions.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosing autism is a multi-step process that involves comprehensive assessments, including developmental and psychological evaluations. These assessments, which include a complete medical test, are essential for accurately diagnosing ASD and determining the best treatment approach. Early diagnosis of autism is crucial as it allows for early intervention, which can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with ASD.

Treatment plan options vary depending on the individual's needs but commonly include behavioral therapies, medication, and educational interventions.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a widely used behavioral therapy that teaches new skills and reduces challenging behaviors through positive reinforcement techniques. Medication may be prescribed to manage specific symptoms or co-occurring conditions such as anxiety or ADHD. Educational interventions, including individualized education plans (IEPs), can provide support and accommodations for children with ASD in school settings.

Other interventions, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills training, can also be beneficial for individuals with ASD. Working closely with a team of professionals is essential to determine each individual's most effective treatment plan.

Autism Fact Sheet example (sample)

Carepatron's free autism fact sheet provides valuable information and resources for individuals with ASD, their families, and caregivers. The fact sheet covers autism-related topics, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and causes. It also includes links to reputable sources for further information and support.

The fact sheet also emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and intervention and the need for a personalized treatment plan that addresses the individual's specific needs and strengths. You can view the sample fact sheet here or download a PDF copy.

Download this free fact sheet on autism example here:

Autism Fact Sheet example (sample)


Hodges, H., Fealko, C., & Soares, N. (2020). Autism spectrum disorder: Definition, epidemiology, causes, and clinical evaluation. Translational Pediatrics, 9(1), S55–S65.

Hours, C., Recasens, C., & Baleyte, J.-M. (2022). ASD and ADHD comorbidity: What are we talking about? Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13(837424).

Pelzl, M. A., Travers-Podmaniczky, G., Brück, C., Jacob, H., Hoffmann, J., Martinelli, A., Hölz, L., Wabersich-Flad, D., & Wildgruber, D. (2023). Reduced impact of nonverbal cues during integrating verbal and nonverbal emotional information in adults with high-functioning autism. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13.

What is an ASD fact sheet?
What is an ASD fact sheet?

Commonly asked questions

What is an ASD fact sheet?

Our ASD fact sheet provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), how it affects child development, and its early signs. It includes information on the prevalence, symptoms, causes, and resources.

Can I modify this Autism Fact Sheet?

You can adjust this fact sheet as necessary for your patients. Please remember to give credit to any sources used and ensure the information's accuracy.

What are the benefits of an Autism Fact Sheet?

An Autism Fact Sheet can be a helpful tool for professionals and individuals seeking information about ASD and how it differs from neurological disorders. It can also serve as a quick reference guide for those who may not be familiar with the disorder and its characteristics.

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