Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of conditions that may affect a person’s social interaction, communication, gastrointestinal system, motor coordination, and several other aspects of life. ASD is generally diagnosed around 2-3 years of age and is 4-5x more prevalent in boys than girls. The CDC estimates that 1 in every 88 children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The causes of ASD are still being researched at this time. Researchers have determined that ASD is a combination of a genetic predilection as well as an environmental cause. The environmental causes have yet to be determined but it is hypothesized that they are most likely to affect the individual while they are in utero or during the birthing process. Researchers have determined that ASD is not caused from immunizations, which was previously hypothesized.
ASD is a unique condition because it includes a wide variety of ways it is expressed. No one individual with ASD is the same as another individual with ASD. Individuals with ASD are also prone to having ocular and visual conditions. As previously mentioned, ASD has a multitude of systemic presentations, and this variety holds true for the visual system as well. Patients with ASD demonstrate a variety of vision conditions that include eye teaming, eye focusing, and visual perceptual deficits. Some people may have a hyperactive visual system, which makes colorful and abrupt visual stimuli disturbing. Others may demonstrate a hypoactive visual system and they are drawn to colorful and bright visual stimuli because it stimulates their visual world.