Revised Diagnostic Criteria: from DSM IV to DSM V

The DSM -5 is included below as an example of the different aspects that are considered to establish if a child has ASD. All of these will be explored in simplified versions in the next slides.

The revised diagnostic criteria for Autism spectrum disorder in the DSM-5 (2013) are as follows:

A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history.

  1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity;
  2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviours used for social interaction;
  3. Deficits in developing, maintaining and understanding relationships.

B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history:

  1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech;
  2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualised patterns of verbal or non-verbal behaviour;
  3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus;
  4. Hyper- or hypo- reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment.

C. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life).

D. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of current functioning.

E. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder), or global developmental delay.