Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex and heterogeneous disorder related to brain and behavior development that is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in core symptoms related to (a) social interaction and communication and (b) atypical behaviors and patterns of interest. Symptoms of ASD are usually present early in life, sometimes as early as infancy and toddlerhood, although in some individuals impairments related to autism may not be evident until much later. ASD is thought to be a fairly common disorder affecting 1% to 2% of the general population. Although not a rare disorder, ASD continues to pose significant challenges to individuals, families, communities, care systems, and scientists.

Although awareness and knowledge of ASD have increased dramatically, effective population-level identification and treatment resources are limited ...

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