Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is a brain-based developmental disabilitiy characterized by atypical or impaired development in social interaction and communication and the presence of repetitive behaviors or restricted interests. Until 2013, ASD was officially called Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD instead of ASD. Several subtypes, including autism, PDD-NOS, Retts, Asperger's were defined, and specific diagnosis was based on the subtype an individual best fit.
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association did away with these different subtype labels, stating that trying to distinguish between the various subtypes was like "trying to cleave meatloaf at the joints." Henceforth, the American Medical community will use the general term ASD to refer to individuals diagnosed anywhere on the autism spectrum. There is still much controversy about this decision. Although specific subtypes will no longer be used to by the medical and scientific community to describe individuals with ASD after 2013, the labels may still be used by individuals diagnosed before this date. Click on one of the links at right to learn more about this fascinating group of conditions.
Autism & Autism