Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is the diagnostic term for what is also called autism. ASD is considered a developmental disability and can cause communication, behavioral, and social difficulties in a wide range of severity from very mild to so extreme that the individual cannot be left alone.
Autism spectrum disorder is not a disease and does not imply cognitive impairment.
Many people with autism are extremely intelligent and creative. The list of those who are believed to be on the spectrum historically, reads like a who’s who of the genius category and includes people like Einstein, Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, and Thomas Jefferson to name a few.
The way in which ASD influences each individual is unique. Some individuals with ASD have difficulty solving problems, but others may be considered gifted in one or two specific areas. The common requirement that sets apart a diagnosis of ASD are the presences of social difficulties.
“Many individuals with ASD given the proper support, live very full and rich lives.“
When the DSM-5 was published in 2013, the breakdown of ASD was changed. It now includes several diagnoses that used to be separate: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome.
All of these conditions now fall under the umbrella of ASD – autism spectrum disorder.
Aspergers and Autism
In the United States, use of the term Asperger’s has been discontinued clinically, but other countries in the world still diagnose and recognize Asperger’s as high functioning autism.
While this diagnosis can be devastating to parents and families, it doesn’t need to be.
It points the way to many constructive and positive therapeutic shifts that can be made in parenting, teaching and doing therapy with a child to achieve greater results, and allow the child to reach their full potential in life.
Many individuals with ASD given the proper support, live very full and rich lives.