Once know as pervasive developmental disorders, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is an umbrella term used to define a class of disorders.
Disorders that are included in this class are:
Until recently, people were diagnosed with one of the types of ASD. For example, a person was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Now, the diagnosis of ASD is used, and the severity of the condition is noted. The diagnosis of ASD typically occurs during childhood, but an adult can be diagnosed with ASD.
Some children do not meet the diagnostic criteria for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but still may have developmental and behavioural problems that are similar to those found in ASDs. These problems include abnormal sensitivities and unusual behavioural responses to certain situations. In these cases, a diagnosis of unspecified neurodevelopmental disorder may be used.
Children with (ASDs) have difficulty in areas of social and emotional development, including:
The severity of an ASD varies by individual. Severely affected children are unable to function without significant help from parents and other caregivers. Other children are mildly affected and can develop adequate skills to lead independent lives as adults. Many children are affected at levels somewhere between these two extremes.
Autism spectrum disorders are present at birth. But the signs of these disorders may not be noticed until later, usually during the first 3 years of a child's life.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsThomas M. Bailey, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerFred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent PsychiatryLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as ofJuly 26, 2016
Current as of: July 26, 2016
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.