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Dr. Nancy J. Aguinaga http://cstl-coe.semo.edu/naguinaga/. WHAT IS Autism Spectrum Disorder?. What is your preconceived notion or idea when you hear or see the term autism? Preconceived feelings?. WHAT IS Autism Spectrum Disorder?.

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Dr nancy j aguinaga http cstl coe semo edu naguinaga

Dr. Nancy J. Aguinaga


What is autism spectrum disorder

WHAT IS Autism Spectrum Disorder?

  • What is your preconceived notion or idea when you hear or see the term autism?

  • Preconceived feelings?

What is autism spectrum disorder1

WHAT IS Autism Spectrum Disorder?

  • The fastest growing diagnoses of childhood (from ‘91 to ‘99-up 1108%)

  • Very complex, often baffling developmental disability

  • First described by Leo Kanner in 1943 as early infantile autism

  • “Auto” – children are “locked within themselves.”

  • For next 30 years, considered to be an emotional disturbance

What is asd


  • Today, autism is a severe form of a broader group of disorders

  • These are referred to as pervasive developmental disorders

  • Typically appears during the first 3 years of life

  • Expressed very differently – a wide range of abilities, strengths and limitations.

What is asd1


  • Neurological in origin – not emotional, not the refrigerator mom

  • Prevalence figures vary (1 in 166 in text) 1:110 NOW

  • 4 times more prevalent in boys

  • No known racial, ethnic, or social boundaries

  • No relation to family income, lifestyle

What is asd2


  • Autism impacts normal development of the brain in areas of social interaction and communication skills and behavior.

  • Difficult to communicate with others and relate to the outside world.

  • Occasionally, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present.

What is asd3


  • May exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking).

  • Unusual responses to people

  • Attachment to objects

  • Resistance to change in routine

  • Sensory sensitivities

What are the types


  • Actually, the “umbrella” heading is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

  • Autism is one of the 5 PDDs. For now – DSM IV

  • All have commonalities in communication and social deficits

  • Differ in terms of severity

  • Differ in IQ levels

  • DSM 5 - ASD

1 autistic disorder

1. Autistic Disorder

  • Impairments in social interaction, communication, and imaginative play.

  • Apparent before age 3.

  • Also includes stereotyped behaviors, interests, and activities

  • Autism added to the DSM III in 1980

2 asperger s disorder

2. Asperger’s Disorder

  • Impairments in social interactions, and presence of restricted interests and activities

  • No clinically significant general delay in language

  • Average to above average intelligence

  • Hans Asperger – a Vienese medical student– 1944 – his work not translated into English until 1981 and entered into the DSM IV in 1994

3 pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified pdd nos

3. Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

  • Often referred to as atypical autism

  • Used when a child does not meet the criteria for a specific diagnosis, but there is severe and pervasive impairment in specified behaviors

  • Entered into the DSM IV in 1987 revision

4 rett s disorder

4. Rett’s Disorder

  • Progressive disorder which, almost exclusively occurs in females

  • Period of normal development and then the loss of previously acquired skills

  • Also loss of purposeful use of hands, which is replaced by repetitive hand movements

  • Beginning at age of 1-2 years, typically in first 5 months

  • Characterized by head growth deceleration and loss of previously acquired skills between 5-48 months

  • Entered into the DSM IV in 1994

5 childhood disintegrative disorder

5. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

  • Normal growth and development prior to manifesting social interaction (generally the first 2 years)

  • Then significant loss of previously acquired skills in at least 2 of the following areas(language, social skills, adaptive behavior, bowel or bladder control, play, or motor skills) before the age of 10

  • Entered into the DSM IV in 1994

Idea individuals with disabilities education act

IDEA- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

  • Autism was not an official disability category under federal education law until 1990

  • Before this services were received under other categories such as ID(MR), OHI , or BD

Conclusions on types

Conclusions on Types

  • Autism is a spectrum disorder

  • This means that symptoms and characteristics can present themselves in wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe

  • Individuals with autism can be very different from each other

  • Kluth “2003” “If you know one person with autism, you know ONE person with autism”


  • “Autism” is still commonly used to refer to any of the 5 PDDs



  • Good agreement in general that autism is caused by abnormalities in brain and central nervous system development (typically result in over or under reactions to various sensory stimuli)

  • May include chemical exposure, viral and genetic factors

  • Vaccines? – NO NONO

  • Currently no medical test to confirm

  • A diagnosis is made by behavioral observations

Famous people with autism

Famous People with Autism

People on the spectrum have made some of the greatest contributions to the world we know…


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