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Autism Spectrum Disorders Overview

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Autism lingo

"Autism Spectrum Disorders" (commonly abbreviated "ASD") is the wording commonly used to describe a group of neurobehavioral disorders** that is more correctly named "Pervasive Developmental Disorders" (commonly abbreviated "PDD").

**neurobehavioral disorder = significant problems thought to reflect disturbances of one's central nervous system that results in significantly dysfunctional learning and behavior

Disorders most commonly addressed as part of the Autism Spectrum

  Asperger's Syndrome (AS)
  Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Other less commonly known Autism Spectrum Disorders include:
  Rett's Disorder
  Childhood Disintegrative Disorder


Puz™ Knows the Facts

Individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome or PDD-NOS are often able to speak to communicate and may even be very articulate.

However, closer analysis of the content of what the person is saying or understanding verbally or nonverbally, will usually reveal ineffective or inaccurate communication.

ASD occurs on a continuum, meaning that it includes a range of varying disorders that share some important common features. Each different form of ASD shares some common features with other types of ASD, but also has its own unique set of characteristics.

Of course, each individual person has his own unique combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics and life experiences, which is the reason no two individuals who have ASD look or act the same.

Understanding and addressing the underlying characteristics and motivations for behavior and learning as they relate to ASD and the individual, rather than simply trying to follow one specific approach, is critical for success.

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Behaviors vary across Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and across individuals. However, the factors that contribute to challenging behaviors are a function of the characteristics of ASD. The severity of the person's ASD does not determine the severity of behavior problems. Someone who has a milder form of ASD may present with severely limiting behaviors.

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Additional Resources

> Compare and contrast the 3 states.

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