Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disorder which cause substantial impairments in social interaction and communication. There are associated repetitive behaviours and unusual interests as well as many people experiencing unusual ways of learning, paying attention and/or reacting to different sensations.
Under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the three separate diagnoses (Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, and PDD-NOS) have been merged into one single diagnosis, known as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder will be given on the basis of difficulties in two areas: Social Communication and Restricted and Repetitive Patterns of Behaviour Interests and Activities.
DSM-5 requires that a severity rating be applied to both domains of impairment, ranging from Level 1 – Requiring Support to Level 3 – Requiring Very Substantial Support.
Clinicians are able to diagnose two or more disorders (co-morbidities) (such as ADHA, anxiety disorder, specific language disorder) to allow for a more comprehensive description of an individual’s presentation.