A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, for example:
- Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity (back-and-forth conversation, sharing of interests)
- Deficits in nonverbal communication (eye contact, body language)
- Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships (adjusting behavior to context, making friends)
B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, including at least two of the following:
- Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements (lining up toys, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases)
- Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior
- Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus
- Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input (indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds...)
C. Symptoms present in early development.
D. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment.
E. Disturbances not better explained by an intellectual development disorder or global developmental delay.
- With or without intellectual impairment
- With or without language impairment
- Associated with a medical or genetic condition or environmental factor
- Associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder
- With catatonia
Since ASD encompasses old (DSM-IV-TR) diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder, severity levels play an important part in the diagnosis. More about those in a future post!