Autism in the DSM, 1952-2013

DSM-I (1952)

000-x28 Schizophrenic reaction, childhood type

Here will be classified those schizophrenic reactions occurring before puberty. The clinical picture may differ from schizophrenic reactions occurring in other age periods because of the immaturity and plasticity of the patient at the time of onset of the reaction. Psychotic reactions in children, manifesting primarily autism, will be classified here.


DSM-II (1968)

295.8  Schizophrenia, childhood type

This category is for cases in which schizophrenic symptoms appear before puberty. The condition may be manifested by autistic, atypical and withdrawn behavior; failure to develop identity separate from the mother’s; and general unevenness, gross immaturity and inadequacy of development. These developmental defects may result in mental retardation, which should also be diagnosed.


DSM-III (1980)

diagnostic criteria for Infantile Autism

A. Onset before 30 months of age
B. Pervasive lack of responsiveness to other people (autism)
C. Gross deficits in language development
D. If speech is present, peculiar speech patterns such as immediate and delayed echolalia, metaphorical language, pronominal reversal.
E. Bizarre responses to various aspects of the environment, e.g., resistance to change, peculiar interest in or attachments to animate or inanimate objects.
F. Absence of delusions, hallucinations, loosening of associations, and incoherence as in Schizophrenia.


DSM-III-R (1987)

diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder

At least eight of the following sixteen items are present, these to include at least two items from A, one from B, and one from C.

A. Qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interaction (the examples within parentheses are arranged so that those first listed are more likely to apply to younger or more disabled, and the later ones, to older or less disabled) as manifested by the following:

  1. Marked lack of awareness of the existence or feelings of others (for example, treats a person as if that person were a piece of furniture; does not notice another person’s distress; apparently has no concept of the need of others for privacy);
  2. No or abnormal seeking of comfort at times of distress (for example, does not come for comfort even when ill, hurt, or tired; seeks comfort in a stereotyped way, for example, says “cheese, cheese, cheese” whenever hurt);
  3. No or impaired imitation (for example, does not wave bye-bye; does not copy parent’s domestic activities; mechanical imitation of others’ actions out of context);
  4. No or abnormal social play (for example, does not actively participate in simple games; prefers solitary play activities; involves other children in play only as mechanical aids); and
  5. Gross impairment in ability to make peer friendships (for example, no interest in making peer friendships despite interest in making friends, demonstrates lack of understanding of conventions of social interaction, for example, reads phone book to uninterested peer.

B. Qualitative impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity, (the numbered items are arranged so that those first listed are more likely to apply to younger or more disabled, and the later ones, to older or less disabled) as manifested by the following:

  1. No mode of communication, such as: communicative babbling, facial expression, gesture, mime, or spoken language;
  2. Markedly abnormal nonverbal communication, as in the use of eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, or gestures to initiate or modulate social interaction (for example, does not anticipate being held, stiffens when held, does not look at the person or smile when making a social approach, does not greet parents or visitors, has a fixed stare in social situations);
  3. Absence of imaginative activity, such as play-acting of adult roles, fantasy character or animals; lack of interest in stories about imaginary events;
  4. Marked abnormalities in the production of speech, including volume, pitch, stress, rate, rhythm, and intonation (for example, monotonous tone, question-like melody, or high pitch);
  5. Marked abnormalities in the form or content of speech, including stereotyped and repetitive use of speech (for example, immediate echolalia or mechanical repetition of a television commercial); use of “you” when “I” is meant (for example, using “You want cookie?” to mean “I want a cookie”); idiosyncratic use of words or phrases (for example, “Go on green riding” to mean “I want to go on the swing”); or frequent irrelevant remarks (for example, starts talking about train schedules during a conversation about ports); and
  6. Marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others, despite adequate speech (for example, indulging in lengthy monologues on one subject regardless of interjections from others);

C. Markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests as manifested by the following:

  1. Stereotyped body movements (for example, hand flicking or twisting, spinning, head-banging, complex whole-body movements);
  2. Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects (for example, sniffing or smelling objects, repetitive feeling of texture of materials, spinning wheels of toy cars) or attachment to unusual objects (for example, insists on carrying around a piece of string);
  3. Marked distress over changes in trivial aspects of environment (for example, when a vase is moved from usual position);
  4. Unreasonable insistence on following routines in precise detail (for example, insisting that exactly the same route always be followed when shopping);
  5. Markedly restricted range of interests and a preoccupation with one narrow interest, e.g., interested only in lining up objects, in amassing facts about meteorology, or in pretending to be a fantasy character.

D. Onset during infancy or early childhood

Specify if childhood onset (after 36 months of age)


DSM-IV (1994) and DSM-IV-R (2000)

299.00 Autistic Disorder

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

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

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

d. persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years: (1) social interaction, (2) language as 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.

299.80 Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

This category should be used when there is a severe and pervasive impairment in the development of reciprocal social interaction or verbal and nonverbal communication skills, or when stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities are present, but the criteria are not met for a specific pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder, or avoidant personality disorder. For example, this category includes “atypical autism” –presentations that do not meet the criteria for autistic disorder because of late age of onset, atypical symptomatology, or subthreshold symptomatology, or all of these.

299.80 Asperger’s Disorder (or Asperger Syndrome)

An Asperger/HFA screening tool must meet all six areas defined by the DSM-IV description of Asperger Syndrome (A-F below) to qualify for a positive rating from First Signs:

A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

(1) 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

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

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

(4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

B. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

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

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

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

(4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).

E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

F. Criteria are not met for another specific pervasive developmental disorder or schizophrenia.

299.80 Rett’s Disorder (or Rett Syndrome)

A. All of the following:

(1) apparently normal prenatal and perinatal development

(2) apparently normal psychomotor development through the first 5 months after birth

(3) normal head circumference at birth

B. Onset of all of the following after the period of normal development:

(1) deceleration of head growth between ages 5 and 48 months

(2) loss of previously acquired purposeful hand skills between ages 5 and 30 months with the subsequent development of stereotyped hand movements (i.e., hand-wringing or hand washing)

(3) loss of social engagement early in the course (although often social interaction develops later)

(4) appearance of poorly coordinated gait or trunk movements

(5) severely impaired expressive and receptive language development with severe psychomotor retardation

299.10 Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

A. Apparently normal development for at least the first 2 years after birth as manifested by the presence of age-appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication, social relationships, play, and adaptive behavior.

B. Clinically significant loss of previously acquired skills (before age 10 years) in at least two of the following areas:

(1) expressive or receptive language

(2) social skills or adaptive behavior

(3) bowel or bladder control

(4) play

(5) motor skills

C. Abnormalities of functioning in at least two of the following areas:

(1) qualitative impairment in social interaction (e.g., impairment in nonverbal behaviors, failure to develop peer relationships, lack of social or emotional reciprocity)

(2) qualitative impairments in communication (e.g., delay or lack of spoken language, inability to initiate or sustain a conversation, stereotyped and repetitive use of language, lack of varied make-believe play)

(3) restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, including motor stereotypies and mannerisms

D. The disturbance is not better accounted for by another specific pervasive developmental disorder or by schizophrenia.


DSM-V (2013)

299.00 Autism Spectrum Disorder

A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):

  1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.
  2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.
  3. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.

B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):

  1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).
  2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat same food every day).
  3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).
  4. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.

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. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, social communication should be below that expected for general developmental level.

Note: Individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Individuals who have marked deficits in social communication, but whose symptoms do not otherwise meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder, should be evaluated for social (pragmatic) communication disorder.

Specify if:

With or without accompanying intellectual impairment

With or without accompanying language impairment

Associated with a known medical or genetic condition or environmental factor

(Coding note: Use additional code to identify the associated medical or genetic condition.)

Associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder

(Coding note: Use additional code[s] to identify the associated neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder[s].

With catatonia (refer to the criteria for catatonia associated with another mental disorder)

(Coding note: Use additional code 293.89 catatonia associated with autism spectrum disorder to indicate the presence of the comorbid catatonia.)

 

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