What are the diagnoses included in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

Autism: a neurobiological disorder of development that causes discrepancies or differences in the way information is processed (Janzen, 2003). This information processing differences negatively affects the ability to:
Understand and use language to interact and communicate with people
Understand and relate in typical ways to people, events, and objects in the environment
Understand and respond to sensory stimuli (i.e., pain, hearing, taste, etc.)
Learn and think in the same way as normally developing children
Asperger's Syndrome: a neurodevelopmental disorder that is similar to autism but individuals' difficulties may be less obvious. Specific problems relate to:

  • Understanding and using the language in typical ways
  • Understanding the perspective of others and managing the give and take of social situations. They tend to be socially awkward with odd body language.
  • Intense, overly focused interests and repetitive behavior.
ADHD: a neurodevelopmental disorder that includes chronic difficulties with inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity to a degree that is inappropriate for their age or developmental level and across a variety of situations that challenge their ability to be attentive, contain movement, control impulses, and regulate their own behavior relative to time, rules, and future.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders: a term that describes a group of severe, early neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by delays and distortions in multiple areas of development, including social skills, communication, and restricted behaviors in activities and interests.