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Additional Information

Select information compiled by Leonah Arroyo.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

What is Autism?

The National Institutes of Health defines Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) as "a complex developmental disability that affects how a person behaves, interacts with others, communicates and learns." According to the National Institute of Mental Health, "The term 'spectrum' refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment, or disability, that children with ASD can have.  Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled."

Disorders within this category have historically been referred to as:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified [PDD-NOS] (e.g., Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett Syndrome)

Additional information about Autism Spectrum Disorder is available online: