Autism is defined as a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in early childhood and is characterized by deficits in social interactions and social communication (verbal and nonverbal) in addition to restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Moreover, these symptoms limit or impair everyday functioning. Up until the most recent revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA]), autism was delineated as a separate disorder within the diagnostic category of disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence. In the DSM-5, the diagnoses of autism, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s disorder were merged under a single diagnosis now designated autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the category of neurodevelopmental disorders. Although the diagnostic ...

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