Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined in the DSM V in section 299.00(F84.0)
The DSM stipulates that ASD is defined by criteria A-E…
Criteria A; Impairment of social interaction
– Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive)… 1. Deficits in social emotional reciprocal, ranging for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-fourth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions. 2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication. 3. Deficits in developing, maintaining and understanding relationships, ranging for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.
– Specify current severity; severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted repetitive patterns of behavior…
Criteria B; Restricted repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities
– Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive)… 1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects or speech (e.g. simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, ecolalia, idiosyncratic phrases). 2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines or ritualized patterns of verbal or non-verbal behaviour e.g. extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same rout or eat same food every day). 3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g. strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests). 4. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).
C. Symptoms must be present in the early develipmental period
D. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupationl, or other important areas of current functioning.
E. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual dissability.
Nb. Individuals with well-established DSM IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, aspergers disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Individuals who have marked effects in social communication, but whose symptoms do not otherwise meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder, should be evaluated for social (pragmatic) communication disorder.