Autism 101: From Recognizing the Earliest Signs to Getting a Diagnosis, Here's the Information You Need

Whether you're concerned about your own child's development or know a child with an autism spectrum disorder, here's what you need to know (17 Photos)

Dina Roth Port on Apr 19, 2012 at 3:58PM

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What Is the Difference Between Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders?

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a Dina Roth Port on Apr 13, 2012 at 2:58PM

When it comes to autism, the terminology can be very confusing. The phrase "autism spectrum disorders," refers to Autistic Disorder (also called "classic" autism), Asperger's Syndrome and PDD-NOS. People with all three disorders have varying degrees of difficulty in social interaction and communication, along with repetitive behaviors such as repeating words and actions or sticking to a very rigid routine. Autism spectrum disorders affect different people in different ways -- some have mild or moderate developmental delays, while others have severe symptoms. "The term 'autism spectrum disorders' encompasses the range of impairment you can have when you have autism," explains Patricia Manning-Courtney, M.D., medical director of the Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' autism subcommittee.

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