According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), autism, or autistic disorder, belongs to a group of pervasive developmental disorders that include Asperger's syndrome, Rett's syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), also referred to as atypical autism. Three disorders from this group are combined under the “autism spectrum” umbrella: autistic disorder, Asperger's syndrome, and PDD-NOS. Asperger's syndrome is differentiated from autistic disorder in that language development is normal. A diagnosis of PDD-NOS is given when a child's symptoms meet some but not all criteria for the diagnosis of autistic disorder or Asperger's syndrome.

Autistic disorder is a neurological condition that emerges in the first 3 years of life. It disrupts sociocommunicative development and ...

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