Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of complex neurological developmental disabilities that are characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with non-verbal and verbal communication, and unusual or severely limited activities, interests, or behaviors. Other commonly occurring difficulties include unusual responses to everyday sensations such as sounds, touch or visual stimuli, etc., often accompanied by marked difficulty learning how to regulate and control behavioral responses. There are innumerable combinations of how the core deficits manifest themselves and there is no one single characteristic or behavior that is common to all students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. However, ASDs include specific diagnostic categories for:

  • Autistic Disorder
  • Aspergerís Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  • Rett's Disorder

While each of these carries their own diagnostic criteria, they all share elements of the core deficit areas to varying degrees. Beyond these deficit areas, each student with ASD has unique strengths and talents. It is important to identify and build on these strengths and talents when designing educational programs to facilitate growth in the deficit areas.


Autism Lending Library

ARIN Autism Initiative Contact:

Jan Foister 724-463-5300 x1106