autism spectrum disorder

A neurodevelopmental disorder. ASD symptoms are typically evident before a child is three years of age. The symptoms range from mild to severe—and individuals often have varied skills levels in different domains of functioning. Autism affects the person's overall development in two primary areas:

  1. social communication, or the way a person uses gestures, body language, and language to communicate and interact socially and relate with others;
  2. the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities (e.g., repetitive motor movements, echolalia/repeating speech, idiosyncratic phrases, extreme distress at small changes/difficulty with transitions, strong attachment to unusual objects/topics, adverse or intense responses to sensory input)

Source: "Glossary of Terms Related to Neurodevelopmental Disabilities" by John Thorne, PhD, CCC-SLP.

» English Glossary for Autism Spectrum Disorders