The current diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder focus on two domains of function: 1) deficits in social communication and the presence of restricted interests and 2) repetitive behaviors.
As behavioral profiles change with developmental age and specific symptoms may come and go over time, the new DSM-5 classification allows for a history of symptoms, even if not currently manifested, to meet criteria for diagnosis. The diagnosis can be made by noting these behaviors by history as long as the current presentation is consistent significant ongoing functional impairment consistent with autism spectrum disorder. Impairment in social and communication skills and behaviors must be out of proportion to what is expected for the individual’s developmental functioning.
Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period, and it is important to consider whether the impairing symptoms are best explained by autism spectrum disorder. Beware of other medical conditions, such as global developmental delay or cognitive impairment/intellectual disability that can mimic Autism.
REFERENCE: CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology: February 2018
Dr. Germano Falcao
Dr. Germano Falcao is a Mayo Clinic Trained Pediatric Neurologist who has a passion to care for children with neurological disorders and give support to their families. He is a compassionate and experienced physician, a published author, and a professor who specializes in areas involving Seizures and Epilepsy; Headaches and Migraine syndromes; Neurodevelopment Disorders; ADHD and Autism Evaluation.