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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that may cause social, communication, or behavioral challenges.

The degree to which students with ASD experience any of these challenges varies, leading to the use of the term “spectrum.” The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. ASD does not necessarily affect a student’s thinking, learning, or problem-solving, or a student’s physical appearance. 

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 1 in 54 children have been identified with ASD.

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