DSM-IV Criteria for an Autism Diagnosis

  1. A total of six (or more) items from heading (A), (B), and (C), with at least two from (A), and one from (B) and (C):
    • Part A: Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
        • Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction.
        • Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level.
        • 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).
        • A lack of social or emotional reciprocity.
    • Part B: Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
        • 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).
        • In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.
        • Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language.
        • Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.
    • Part C: Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by two of the following:
        • Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.
        • Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.
        • Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping, or twisting, or complex whole-body movements).
        • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
  2. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:
    • Social interaction
    • Language is used in social communication
    • Symbolic or imaginative play
  3. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
theautismresearchfoundationDSM-IV Criteria for an Autism Diagnosis