This unit addresses the core characteristics, which define the autism spectrum under the DSM-5 and ICD-10 systems. In addition, co-morbid (or co-occurring) features, which sometimes accompany ASD such as intellectual disability, savant skills, seizures, anxiety, depression, and sensory issues.
Figures A and B illustrate differences between the former DSM-IV and the current DSM-5 classification system for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
ICD-11 will be released by the World Health Organization in 2018.
The most popular diagnostic framework for core autism characteristics is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association (2012). Less popular, but important, is the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) of the World Health Organization (2012). ICD-11 is due to be published by the WHO in 2018. The Core Characteristics for DSM-5 are only two, now, as language skills are variable among those with ASD and have been removed from the framework.
A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, such as:
1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity
2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors
3. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships
Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted repetitive patterns of behavior.
B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, such as:
1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements
2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns
3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus
4. Hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input