Skip to main content

Unknown: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Unknown: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders, or ASD, is a term used by psychiatrists to refer to a group of developmental disorders of childhood that are still not well understood. The three major forms of ASD are Asperger syndrome,

autism, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, or PDD-NOS. These three disorders are sometimes grouped together with two other very rare disorders as pervasive developmental disorders or PDDs.

What the three ASDs have in common is impaired ability to communicate and interact socially with other people, combined with a limited set of interests. Children with Asperger syndrome differ from those diagnosed with autism or PDD-NOS in that they do not show a delay in language development.

The autistic spectrum disorders are thought to affect six to seven of every 1,000 school-age children. Most of these children are diagnosed as having PDD-NOS; autism accounts for one or two children in every 1,000, and Asperger syndrome for one child in every 5,000–10,000.

Most children with ASDs benefit from individualized special education programs and behavioral therapy to help them learn social skills. Many—perhaps as many as 10 percent—of these children have special gifts or talents that enable them to excel in fields that do not require working closely with others.

SEE ALSO Asperger syndrome; Autism

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Unknown: Autism Spectrum Disorders." UXL Encyclopedia of Diseases and Disorders. . 24 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Unknown: Autism Spectrum Disorders." UXL Encyclopedia of Diseases and Disorders. . (April 24, 2019).

"Unknown: Autism Spectrum Disorders." UXL Encyclopedia of Diseases and Disorders. . Retrieved April 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.