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Autistic Disorder Symptoms and DSM-IV Diagnosis

Autistic Disorder Symptoms and Diagnosis Overview:

ADHD,attention deficit hyperactivity disorderAutistic Disorder symptoms and diagnostic criteria follow below. While some of these Autistic Disorder symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals,  and others, only  properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. Many additional factors are considered in addition to the  Autistic Disorder symptoms in making proper diagnosis, including frequently medical and psychological testing considerations. This information on Autistic Disorder symptoms and diagnostic criteria are for information purposes only and should never replace the judgement and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician. 


Diagnostic criteria for 299.00 Autistic Disorder 

  1. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and one from (2) and (3):

(1)      qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following: 

(a)     marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction

(b)     failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

(c)     a lack of spontaneous seeking to sheer enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)

(d)     lack of social or emotional reciprocity 

(2)      qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following: 

(a)     delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gestures or mine)

(b)     in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others

(c)     stereotyped or repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language

(d)     lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level 

(3)      restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following: 

(a)     encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus

(b)     apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

(c)     stereotyped or repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)

(d)     persistent preoccupation with parts of objects 

  1. Delays or abnormal functioning in a least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years: (1) social interaction, (2) language is used in social communication, or (3) symbolic or imaginative play.

    C.    The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s Disorder or           Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

Also, See: Other Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence

Other Mental Health Diagnostic Symptoms and Criteria

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Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: In Alphabetical Order and Psychiatric Medications

Psychiatric Medication













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