Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide

Autism Spectrum Disorder

J. Corey Williams, Na Young Ji, M.D.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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DEFINITION

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in two major areas[1]:
    • Social communication and social interaction and
    • Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities
  • ASD is classified under the Neurodevelopmental Disorders section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5)[1].
    • The DSM-5 has an extensive, but not exhaustive, list of criteria for ASD. For these detailed criteria, please see the DSM-5 itself[1].
    • The criteria-based diagnosis requires deficits in social communication/interaction across multiple contexts and restricted, repetitive behavior/interests.
    • ASD encompasses DSM-IV’s[2] autistic disorder; childhood disintegrative disorder; pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified; Asberger’s disorder.

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Last updated: February 27, 2015