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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, whose primary features are deficits in social communication and the presence of restricted interests and/or repetitive behaviors. In terms of social communication, individuals with ASD most commonly have difficulty with the pragmatic aspects of language, although some have difficulty using speech for communicative purposes (i.e., they are nonverbal or use few words). This entry further discusses the characteristics of individuals with ASD, the diagnostic standards for ASD and increased rates of diagnosis, the reasons why ASD is considered a complex disorder, and challenges with conducting and interpreting research on individuals with ASD.

The difficulties with the pragmatic aspects of language experienced by people with ASD involve the nonverbal cues present in language such as changes in pitch/tone ...

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