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What is Autism?

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Neurodevelopmental Outreach Clinic Manager

Sue Armstrong, LCSW

Phone  907-264-6281
Fax      800-466-1538

Email  ​​​​​​​

Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders

There are three types of autism spectrum disorders:

Autistic Disorder

This is sometimes called “classic” autism. It is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism”. People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability.

Asperger Syndrome

People with Asperger syndrome usually have milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests. However, they typically do not have problems with language or intellectual disability.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified

This is sometimes called “atypical autism,” or PDD-NOS. People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome, but not all, may be diagnosed with atypical autism. These people usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder. The symptoms might cause only social and communication challenges.