What Is the Autism Spectrum?
Autism is a complex brain disorder, affecting 1 in 88 children. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.
The “autism spectrum” describes a set of developmental delays and disorders which affects social skills, communication skills, motor and language skills. It is such a broad diagnosis that it can include people with high IQ’s , those affected can be chatty or silent, affectionate or cold, methodical or disorganized. “Autism Spectrum” is also another, less formal term to describe the Pervasive Developmental Disorders.
Official diagnoses within the autism spectrum are autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett’s Syndrome.
Some affected are mild while others are severe. The symptoms aren’t always the same even within the same diagnosis. What’s worse, terms like “severe autism,” “mild autism” and “high functioning autism” aren’t true diagnoses at all – they’re just descriptive terms to help parents and teachers better understand a child’s status on the autism spectrum.