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Understanding autism

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

The American Psychiatric Association's formal system for the classification and diagnosis of psychiatric, mental health and developmental conditions, which includes criteria for diagnosing autism. The 5th edition, published in 2013, dispensed with the diagnostic sub-types of autism (e.g. Asperger Syndrome) seen in earlier versions. The DSM-5 approach to classifying and diagnosing autism treats it as a continuous spectrum and uses severity scores and specifiers to characterise each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

» Glossary

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