Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by impairment in communication and social interactions. Persons with ASD also have a distinctive thinking and learning style and often have strong interests or behaviors that can interfere with daily living. Because autism is a "spectrum disorder," it affects different individuals in different ways. There is a saying in the autism community, "if you have seen one person with autism, you have seen one person with autism." We believe that all individuals with autism spectrum disorder are individuals with their own unique talents and strengths.
Prior to 2013, in the scientific community, autism was one of several disorders under the umbrella of "pervasive developmental disorders," that also included Asperger Syndrome and PDD-NOS. Currently, persons with any of these original diagnoses are referred to as simply having autism spectrum disorder.
AUTISM SOCIETY OF AMERICA FACTS AND STATISTICS
What is ASD?