What is autism?

You may hear several different names used to describe autism. These could include:

o Classic autism
o Kanner Syndrome
o High-functioning autism
o Able autism
o Atypical autism
o Asperger Syndrome
o Semantic Pragmatic Disorder (SPD)
o Autistic tendencies
o Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (a.s.d.)is an umbrella term often used to describe these conditions because it groups together all the different variations of this disorder. The idea of a spectrum is useful because it shows that people with a diagnosis of autism can range from having average or above average intelligence to having severe learning disabilities.