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Characteristics

Autism and related disorders are commonly referred to as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This new term captures the continuum of characteristics associated with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and pervasive developmental delay: not otherwise specified. All of these categories are organized under Pervasive Developmental Delays in the DSM IV, 2000. The use of ASD better reflects the incredible range of symptomology and variability within these disorders.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe & pervasive impairment of reciprocal social skills, communication, and the presence of stereotyped, restricted, and repetitive interests and activities. These disorders have an onset within the first three years of the child’s life (Volkmar, Klin, Siegel, Szatmari, et al., 1994).  

Social Deficits include:

  • Marked impairments in interpreting nonverbal behavior
  • Marked impairments in interpreting social expectations and norms
  • A failure to develop typical peer relationships
  • A lack of social reciprocity

Communication Deficits include:

  • Significant impairments in the use of nonverbal actions
  •  Significant impairments in the use spoken language
  • A marked difficulty in the ability to sustain conversation
  • Use of stereotyped and repetitive (or idiosyncratic) language

Stereotyped, Restricted, Repetitive Interests and Activities include:

  • Overwhelming preoccupations and interests
  • Rigid adherence to routines or rituals
  • Stereotypes and motor mannerisms such as hand flapping
  • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects such as spinning wheels on toy car
  • Persistent preoccupation of topics such as mammals or a favorite video
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Characteristics

Autism and related disorders are commonly referred to as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This new term captures the continuum of characteristics associated with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and pervasive developmental delay: not otherwise specified. All of these categories are organized under Pervasive Developmental Delays in the DSM IV, 2000. The use of ASD better reflects the incredible range of symptomology and variability within these disorders.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe & pervasive impairment of reciprocal social skills, communication, and the presence of stereotyped, restricted, and repetitive interests and activities. These disorders have an onset within the first three years of the child’s life (Volkmar, Klin, Siegel, Szatmari, et al., 1994).  

Social Deficits include:

  • Marked impairments in interpreting nonverbal behavior
  • Marked impairments in interpreting social expectations and norms
  • A failure to develop typical peer relationships
  • A lack of social reciprocity

Communication Deficits include:

  • Significant impairments in the use of nonverbal actions
  •  Significant impairments in the use spoken language
  • A marked difficulty in the ability to sustain conversation
  • Use of stereotyped and repetitive (or idiosyncratic) language

Stereotyped, Restricted, Repetitive Interests and Activities include:

  • Overwhelming preoccupations and interests
  • Rigid adherence to routines or rituals
  • Stereotypes and motor mannerisms such as hand flapping
  • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects such as spinning wheels on toy car
  • Persistent preoccupation of topics such as mammals or a favorite video