Definition: This term refers to any of the diagnoses within the autism spectrum, from Asperger Syndrome at the high end to “classic” autism at the low end. Also included under this diagnosis are Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Rett's Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and, sometimes, Fragile X Syndrome. High Functioning Autism, Low Functioning Autism and Non-Verbal Speech Disorder are not official diagnoses on the spectrum, but may be used to describe an individual's particular set of symptoms.
Also Known As: ASD, Autism
Examples:Autism spectrum disorders may be mild or profound, obvious or subtle -- but they always include delays in social and behavioral skills.