Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are severe disorders of development that can affect social interaction, communication, play, and learning.
ASDs represent three of the pervasive developmental disorders defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) and DSM-IV-TR (text revision):
- Autistic disorder
- Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified
- Asperger syndrome.
During the past decade, there has been growing national awareness and concern about the increase in the occurrences of ASD. Approximately 1 in 88 children meet the diagnostic criteria for one of the disorders listed above.