Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that refers to the persistent impairment of reciprocal social communication and social interaction as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interest and activities (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Impairment typically is seen early in development but the diagnosis of ASD may not be given until later in childhood. Recent research now tells us that ASD symptoms can be identified at times as early as 12 months so there is a need for early screening and referral for comprehensive assessment if there is suspicion by the PCP. If a PCP has a better understanding of the diagnostic criteria for ASD, it will be easier to spot.
In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 was published and what used to be Pervasive Developmental Disorder began Autism Spectrum Disorder. The diagnostic terms of Asperger Disorder, Autistic Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD, nos) are not longer used. All are subsumed under the new diagnostic term of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Click for the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder