Glossary Term - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder or ASD is the term most commonly used to describe the group of five related brain-based disorders that affect a child's behavior, social, and communication skills. The five disorders that comprise the autism spectrum are: autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Rett syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder.  ASDs include a cluster of features that are unique to each child.  Because of the developmental nature of the disorder, it can be unclear where a child fits on the spectrum, especially when he or she is very young.