Once known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of
disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and
communication skills. These disorders are present at birth, but the signs of
the disorders usually are noticed during a child's first 3 years of life.
Autism spectrum disorders include autism, Asperger's syndrome (or disorder), childhood disintegrative
disorder (CDD), and unspecified neurodevelopmental disorders.
The severity of an autism spectrum disorder varies
by individual. Treatment for these disorders includes behavioral training,
speech and occupational therapy, and parent education and support.
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