What is Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. The “spectrum” part of “Autism Spectrum Disorder” refers to the wide variation in how the disorder can affect the Autistic. Autism and ASD disorders are characterized, to varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.

At one point in history, every autism disorder was once recognized as a distinct subtype, which included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Aspergerís Syndrome. However, with the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all Autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis known as Autism Spectrum Disorder.

ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination, attention deficits, and physical health issues including sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder excel in visual skills, music, math, science, and art.

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