Autism Spectrum Disorders
Maureen Grissom, PhD
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) include three of the
pervasive developmental disorders
(PDD) as defined
in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV-TR).
These three pervasive developmental disorders are:
People who have one of these three disorders will typically have delayed development compared
with their age group, notably in socialization, communication, and behavioral stereotypes:
- Social characteristics of people with ASDs include looking at others less often,
relating to others less well, and being less capable in recognizing emotion in others.
- Communication characteristics include not saying single words by 15 months,
and talking meaningfully less frequently.
- Behavioral characteristics include repetitious behavior, compulsively lining up toys,
always doing things the same way, and in general behaving ritualistically.
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides
of people with ASDs in socialization, communication, and behavioral areas.
None of these behaviors are pathognomic.
Other disorders somewhat similar to the ASDs, but not included in the ASDs as we have defined it
Persons with ASDs differ widely. Some may have comorbidities such as mental retardation, seizures, and/or behavioral problems; others may function on a superior cognitive level.