DSM5 – Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

I am not a fan of the medical jargon, but I feel it is important that for the record this information be provided to my beloved readers here.

I disagree with the pathology. The words below dehumanize but they are an official description – one that can grant or deny services, help, and accommodations.

To my readers – I love you and you are perfect just the way you are! ❤

Also – I can take NO credit for the text below. I do not own the right to it. This information is below as a reference.

Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)  provides standardized criteria to help diagnose ASD.

    1. 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 understand 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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).
    2. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
    3. 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.)

I do NOT own the text above source here at CDC.gov.


21 thoughts on “DSM5 – Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder”

    1. And, SPD can also be a separate condition/diagnosis. The lines are so blurred, and yet there’s a great deal of overlap. There is still not enough awareness of SPD though some good strides are being made.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We are getting there slowly. Luckily brain imaging is starting to FINALLY give people a better understanding of the two conditions and how they relate to one another. SPD kicks my ASS and is my biggest problem. It is the part of my AS that is a disability.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t think I have SPD. I have to wear earplugs to get to sleep at night, but sounds during the day don’t bother me. I have a problem with bright lights, and I shouldn’t drive at night (I avoid it as much as possible). I’ve been told by some dentists and medical doctors that I have a very high tolerance to pain. Does this mean I have SPD (like I said, I don’t think I do)? I’ve heard this is a very common problem in the general population; about 20% of all people have SPD (to some degree or another).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s hard to say and I am not qualified to diagnose you however I have the things you listed plus synesthesia that blends sounds I hear and makes them feel like motion. It is what makes sounds intolerable for me.


    2. Yes – I agree. We need more Autistic people involved in the diagnosis and treatment of Aspies. People who are newly diagnosed are kind of left to figure things out from a medical perspective. My doctor recommended books by other Aspie women THIS was transformation to me. She also presented my diagnosis in a positive way…


  1. I guess I can now throw my higher than average pain threshold into the mix as part of my, so far, self-diagnosed, condition.
    I’ve fractured my elbow twice in the past without thinking it any worse than a sprain, and I have in the past punched walls when frustrated and I used to take teabags from boiling water and squeeze them out by hand without concern.
    I can also tolerate high temperatures, up to 40 or 50C, in weather pretty well, though I don’t like the cold.

    As always, thank you for this important information.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have pdd-nos or basically I high case of Aspergers but no the docs had to take that out of the dumb dsm-5 and call it autism spectrum disorders my opinion they should categorize it TWO different things

    Liked by 1 person

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