Essay on Autism Spectrum Disorder ( Asd )

1806 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 8 Pages
The most recent 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual categorizes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a pervasive developmental disorder (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013.) The term “spectrum” indicates that there are several disorders under the general umbrella of ASD that vary by severity or the amount of support needed. Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are two disorders on opposite ends of the continuum. Autism is more severe and presents with restricted, repetitive behavior and echolalia, whereas individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome are more subtly impaired in their social skills, with seemingly neurotypical language skills. It is a common saying in the special needs community that “if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Because ASD presents differently in almost every case, I will discuss the ASD population as a general whole and include details that may or may not hold true for every individual on the spectrum.
The characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder present with remarkable heterogeneity; however, the core features of ASD include (a) impairments in social communication, language, and related cognitive skills and behavioral and emotional regulation and (b) the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013.) It is often argued that individuals with ASD do not possess “Theory of Mind,” referring to the ability people have to infer what others are thinking. It…

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