Autism is a disorder with many different levels of severity and it is considered a pervasive developmental disorder. Pervasive meaning that the disorder significantly affects people for the rest of their lives. According to Barlow and Durand (2012), “Autistic disorder (autism) is a childhood disorder characterized by significant impairment in social interactions and communication and by restricted patterns of behavior, interest, and activities.” (p. 514). Autism always appears in early childhood, that is when it is usually diagnosed, but it is a diagnosis that lasts for a lifetime. Currently there is no completely effective treatment for this disorder. With the very broad range of symptoms, and the varying levels of severity of the disorder, it probably will not be possible find one treatment that will work for all, currently the best treatments for people with autism help to manage some of the symptoms.
There are several pervasive developmental disorders that are under the autism spectrum, they have been revised in the DSM-5.
Under the DSM-5 criteria, individuals with ASD must show symptoms from early childhood, even if those symptoms are not recognized until later. This criteria change encourages earlier diagnosis of ASD but also allows people whose symptoms may not be fully recognized until social demands exceed their capacity to receive the diagnosis. It is an important change from DSM-IV criteria, which was geared toward identifying school-aged children with autism-related disorders, but not as useful in diagnosing younger children.
The disorders that now are covered under autism spectrum disorders include autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have shown an alarming pattern, rates of autism spectrum disorders have almost doubled in the United...