The prevalence of autism is an increasing reality in the parishes and schools of the Catholic Church in the United States. Autism, also often called autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is "a set of complex neurodevelopment disorders that include autistic disorder, Asperger disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. Children who have ASD display mild to severe impairments in social interaction and communication along with restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behaviors,
interests, and activities." From the 2013 CDC report at the link below. The rates of autism have risen steadily, and as of the latest report are at 1 in 50. Regardless of the reason for the increase, all parishes and schools will have members who live with the range of conditions that are within the autism spectrum.
In order to adequately respond to the needs of these members in the parish or school, an Autism Task Force (ATF) was commissioned by the NCPD Board of Directors to review and evaluate curriculums and program models being used at parishes around the country.
NCPD Autism Task Force