According to the DSM IV-TR, autism falls under the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). It is characterized by: severe deficits and pervasive change of several sectors of the development (capacity of mutual social interactions, communication) or by the presence of repetitive/restricted behavior, interests and activities (DSM-IV-TR, 2000).
For individualizes affected by autism it is observed , according to DSM-IV-TR, difficulties present in three domains:
1. Social Interactions:
- Difficulties in non-verbal social behaviors (gaze, facial expressions, etc.)
- Difficulties in developing relationships with peers
- Lack of spontaneity and/or sharing
- Does not share emotional or social reciprocity with others
2. Communication :
- Delayed language development or lack of means for communication
- Lack of communication and/or conversation with others
- Stereotypical or repetitive language
- Does not understand pretend or social imitative play
3. Restricted, repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behavior :
- Restricted Interested
- Stereotypical and repetitive gestures
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.