Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a range of conditions characterised by some degree of impaired social behaviour, communication and language, and a narrow range of interests and activities that are both unique to the individual and carried out repetitively.
According to the World Health Organization it is estimated that worldwide one in 160 children has an ASD. This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are substantially higher.
The prevalence of ASD in many low- and middle-income countries is so far unknown.The health-care needs of people with ASD are complex and require a range of integrated services, including health promotion, care, rehabilitation services, and collaboration with other sectors such as education, employment and social care. ASDs may significantly limit the capacity of an individual to conduct daily activities and participate in society. ASDs often negatively influence the person’s educational and social attainments as well as employment opportunities.