Autism Spectrum Disorder: The special bond between siblings

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By: Cynthia A. Moore, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (CDC)

About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ‘1’ in 1 in 68 is more than just a number—it represents many families in communities across the United States living with the condition. Alexis Wineman, the first woman with ASD to participate in the Miss America competition, feels that her family, and particularly her siblings, has always been a source of strength and inspiration for her. “Prior to being diagnosed with autism, neither I nor my family had an explanation for my meltdowns and other issues. After the diagnosis, it was incredible how my siblings reacted … it was just amazing how they sprang into action after years of not knowing what was going on.” Her family shared their advice for others who have a sibling with ASD.

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