How many different types of autism are there

What Are the 5 Types of Autism?

Autism refers to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders. If your child is living with autism, it is important for you to understand the various types of autism and the symptoms presented by each.

Understanding the unique challenges presented by each type of autism will guide you in helping your child cope with the disorder. There are five major types of autism which include Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Kanner’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified.

Main Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Asperger’s Syndrome

Although the term Asperger’s syndrome was quite common before 2013, the term is actually no longer used by medical professionals. It has since been reclassified as level 1 autism spectrum disorder by the DSM-5 diagnostic manual. Still, Asperger’s syndrome may be used informally — in fact, autism communities use it more often than level 1 spectrum disorder.

A child with level 1 spectrum disorder will have above average intelligence and strong verbal skills but will experience challenges with social communication. In general, a child with level 1 autism spectrum disorder will display the following symptoms:

  • Inflexibility in thought and behavior
  • Challenges in switching between activities
  • Executive functioning problems
  • Flat monotone speech, the inability to express feelings in their speech, or change their pitch to fit their immediate environment
  • Difficulty interacting with peers at school or home

Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder that is noticed in infancy. The disorder mostly affects girls, although it can still be diagnosed in boys. Rett syndrome presents challenges that affect almost every aspect of a child's life. The good thing is your child can still enjoy and live a fulfilling life with the proper care. You can have family time together and provide support to allow the child to do what they enjoy.

Common symptoms of Rett syndrome include:

  • Loss of standard movement and coordination
  • Challenges with communication and speech
  • Breathing difficulties in some cases

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), also known as Heller's syndrome or disintegrative psychosis, is a neurodevelopmental disorder defined by delayed onset of developmental problems in language, motor skills, or social function. A child experiences normal development in these areas only to hit a snag after age three and up to age 10. The developmental loss can be very heartbreaking for parents who had no idea their child had autism challenges all along.

The cause of CDD is unknown though researchers link it to the neurobiology of the brain. Childhood disintegrative disorder is more common in boys. Out of every 10 cases of the disorder, nine will be boys, and only one will be a girl.

In CDD, the child will have normal development up to the time when the disorder starts, and regressions suddenly start to occur in more than two developmental aspects of their life. The child may lose any of the following skills and abilities:

  • Toileting skills if they had already been established
  • Acquired language or vocabularies
  • Social skills and adaptive behaviors
  • Some motor skills

Kanner’s Syndrome

Kanner’s syndrome was discovered by psychiatrist Leo Kanner of John Hopkins University in 1943 when he characterized it as infantile autism. Doctors also describe the condition as a classic autistic disorder. Children with Kanner's syndrome will appear attractive, alert, and intelligent with underlying characteristics of the disorder such as:

  • Lack of emotional attachment with others
  • Communication and interaction challenges
  • Uncontrolled speech
  • Obsession with handling objects
  • A high degree of rote memory and visuospatial skills with major difficulties learning in other areas

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is a mild type of autism that presents a range of symptoms. The most common symptoms are challenges in social and language development.

Your child may experience delays in language development, walking, and other motor skills. You can identify this type of autism by observing the child and noting what area the child displays a deficit in, such as interacting with others. PDD-NOS is sometimes referred to as “subthreshold autism,” as it is a term used to describe an individual that has some but not all symptoms of autism.

Managing the Different Types of Autism

Management of autism depends on the type of autism and the severity of symptoms. For instance, mild types of autism such as level 1 autism spectrum disorder can be managed through behavior modification or social training while individuals with Rett syndrome would require more substantial support like physical or occupational therapy.

Some forms of autism require behavior modification and other additional support. You may be required to change your child's diet to avoid preservatives, gluten, and artificial sugars. Another example is adding food coloring to different foods in a meal to encourage your child to improve their visual skills as they eat. Your family doctor will guide you on the specific treatment options that will best serve your child.

We Can Help

If you are taking care of a child with autism, you first need to identify the type of autism affecting your child. After identification, you will need to seek consultation from an expert to help you manage the specific type of autism disorder. Children living with autism experience social challenges, and only a well-trained and experienced therapist can help them. At Integrity Inc., our services have been tested and modified by years of experience in treating autism. Let us be the help your child needs to cope with the challenges of any form of autism. Call us at (501) 406-0442 to book an appointment today!

The Different Types of Autism and How to Recognize Each on the Spectrum

When people hear the word ‘autism’ they often have an idea of an individual in their head. Although those preconceived notions may be true for some people with Autism, not all people fall under that ‘classic Autistic’ category.
Autism often presents itself first and foremost during the pivotal developmental years of a young child, from ages 0-6. During these ages, the child may miss certain milestones that he or she should be hitting for their age, causing concern among their parents and family members.

Symptoms and signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder will vary from person to person, as no two cases are the same. Did you know that there are three different types of Autism Spectrum Disorders (also known as ASD)?  Read below to learn more about each type of Autism and how you can identify it.

Autistic Disorder

Autistic Disorder, also known as the ‘classic case of Autism.’ This is the typical case that people think of when they think of an individual with Autism. These individuals may have issues with verbal and non-verbal communication, which can cause them to either have a delay in speech, lack of facial expressions or trouble maintaining eye contact while speaking. Additionally, they may experience hypo-sensitivity to sight, sound, smell touch or taste. An individual with classic Autism may find it difficult to go through the motions of their everyday life without repetition or routine and may have a negative reaction when either of these are taken away from them. They may also have a hard time relating to society and other people, as they may not be able to empathize with other people’s emotions since they do not experience the same emotions themselves.

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is a form of Autism that presents challenges socially and in the individuals’ behavior or interests. They may have milder symptoms than those with classic Autistic Disorder but have their own trials and tribulations in their daily life. Someone that has Asperger Syndrome may act inappropriately in social situations, coming across as awkward or rude. They may feel more comfortable speaking about themselves, rather than focusing on someone they are socializing with, which makes them appear to be unempathetic and selfish. An individual with Asperger Syndrome may also have trouble expressing themselves nonverbally, which can cause them to not know how to have appropriate facial expressions, gestures or body language.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is best described as individuals that do not fit into either the Autistic Disorder or the Asperger Syndrome categories. This person may have some mild symptoms from both types of Autism, but present other high functioning characteristics as well. These individuals can be in one of three categories: high-functioning, symptoms close to Autistic Disorder but not quite fully meeting its symptoms and the third group which is that the individual does meet all of the requirements to be in the Autistic Disorder group but have very mild behavior symptoms. This specific category is relatively new, as it has been categorized as a part of the Autism spectrum only in the past 15 years.

An individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder will face several struggles throughout their life, including social behavior and traits, motor functions and their overall behavior patterns. An individual that is on the Autism spectrum may experience the following difficulties and struggles through out their life.

Behavior, Activities and Interests:


  • Repeating the same movements constantly, such as clapping their hands, stomping their feet or rocking back and forth. Often these movements are done out of a state of relaxation or as a coping method.
  • Ways of moving may seem out of the ordinary, such as being aggressive in certain actions such as being too rough with a simple hug or being too aggressive during play time with other children.
  • Obsessive actions and thoughts towards certain things are not uncommon. They may obsess over a certain corner of a house, a toy that they love or a specific person. Failure to have this object or person around them may result in a breakdown, commonly with crying, screaming or tantrums.
  • Focusing on one specific topic all the time can prevent other topics of conversation from coming into play. Often individuals on the Autism spectrum will obsess over a certain topic, such as airplanes or trains. It can be extremely hard for them to engage in any sort of conversation that is not directly related to the object they are interested in.
  • Sensitivity to certain sensory experiences may vary. Some individuals are hypersensitive to sensations such as cold, textures, sounds, etc. whereas others are hyposensitive to them.

Motor Skills

Each person with Autism Spectrum Disorder is unique and no two cases will be identical. Motor skills will vary based on the severity of Autism the individual has, as well as any therapy or programs that the individual participates in to negate these complications. Their motor skills may be impacted in the following ways:

  • Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder may experience a delay in learning how to speak or they may never speak at all. The average age for a child learning to speak is around two years old, but one of the first signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder is delayed speech after the age of two years old.
  • An individual that can communicate but also has Autism Spectrum Disorder may speak at an abnormal volume or tone of voice and may repeat a certain phrase often. They may not understand the appropriate tone, volume and approach to a conversation.
  • Carrying on conversations can be difficult for those with ASD because they may feel frustrated that they cannot communicate their feelings completely to those they are speaking with. They may also have a hard time understanding the words that they are hearing and an appropriate response to the conversation.
  • In individuals with ASD, more specifically Asperger Syndrome, understanding sarcasm, humor and literal statements can be difficult. Adversely, they may have a hard time communicating their humor and may come across as abrasive or crass.

Social Behavior and Traits

Just as motor skills vary based on the severity of the case of ASD, social behavior will vary as well. Social skills can improve over time with the proper therapy and intervention from professionals. Social behaviors that can signal Autism Syndrome Disorder includes:

  • Aggressive social behavior such as rough play, hitting, scratching or inappropriate aggression towards their peers.
  • Inappropriate language, actions or gestures may be common for individuals with ASD. These inappropriate actions can include lewd language, gestures that are aggressive or sexual in nature or actions that are unfitting for the situation they are in.
  • Feelings, body language and actions can easily be misinterpreted with an individual with ASD. They may take a sentence or action out of context and respond accordingly.
  • Socially, individuals on the Autism spectrum may seem awkward or uncomfortable. They will likely not pursue any sort of social activity on their own and may respond to social interactions in a timid or hostile way.

It is important to note that although these are common signs and symptoms of Autism Syndrome Disorder, they are not the sole indicator of Autism. It is imperative to recognize that just because an individual has one of these characteristics that they are not automatically categorized as Autistic or on the spectrum. If you believe that someone has Autism or is on the spectrum, we encourage you to speak with their doctor, family members and close friends. Medical professionals are the only members of society that can formally diagnose Autism Syndrome Disorder.

We hope that this information about the different types of Autism will help you differentiate between the three different categories of Autism. We want to encourage you to embrace all people, whether they have a disability or not, and show them all the same respect. We feel that everyone is just as important and special as the next!


Classification of autism - Mardaleishvili Medical Center

Autism is a disorder of the nervous system, mental disorder of a child. There are difficulties in interacting with the outside world and society.

This is a condition that accompanies the child throughout life.

Characteristic features of childhood autism are:

  1. Closeness;
  2. Limited interests;
  3. Difficulties in communication.

Psychologists and psychotherapists work with such a pathology.

Autism, like any disease, has its own classification. Consider the main groups of RDA in more detail.

Classification of childhood autism

There are two types of classification of childhood autism.

The main ones are:

  • ICD-10;
  • DSM-IV.

The first species was introduced by the World Health Organization. Today he is the main in classification of childhood autism . Based on the symptoms of the disease. Each type has its own code.

Let's take a closer look at the types of autism in children and the cipher to which it refers. Childhood autism has one common code F 84.0. Further, this disease was divided into several subspecies.

Subspecies of childhood autism have their own codes and are divided into:

  1. Atypical autism;
  2. Asperger's Syndrome;
  3. Childhood autism disorder;
  4. Rett syndrome;
  5. Mental retardation and stereotyped movement disorder;
  6. Pervasive unspecified disorders.

The second type of classification of childhood autism was presented by the American community of psychiatrists. Both of these classifications differ only in code.

Consider what species are included in this classification.

It includes four types of childhood autism:

  • Rett's disorder;
  • Asperger's disorder;
  • Pervasive developmental disorder, atypical autism.
  • Disintegrative disorder of childhood;

In addition to international classifications, a psychological variant is distinguished. It was proposed by Nikolskaya O.S. According to this classification, 4 groups of children with autism were identified.

The following groups were distinguished:

  1. Detachment, lack of need for contact with the outside world;
  2. Presence of negativism and rejection of reality, hyperexcitability;
  3. Substitution of the environment, lack of emotional connection with loved ones;
  4. Lack of contact with the external environment, fearfulness, vulnerability.

When compared with healthy peers, an autistic child shows a lack of interest in anything new. Children's curiosity is missing. With early childhood autism, classification allows you to accurately select the type of psychological rehabilitation.

Today there is a method of treating childhood autism with one's own stem cells from umbilical cord blood or bone marrow. This method of treatment is successfully used in the Mardaleishvili clinic in Georgia.

Contact the Mardaleishvili clinic!

Autism - types of autism: mild form in children and adults

Informburo. kz understands what autism is, what forms it has, and how people with autism spectrum disorders are helped in Kazakhstan. And we also spoke on condition of anonymity with a person with Asperger's syndrome (a mild form of autism), who turned to specialists only after 20 years, and as a child thought that "everything around is just smarter."

What is autism and why is it wrong to say "disease"?

Autism is a pervasive (that is, general, extensive) name for a mental state with a reduced or distorted ability to interact with the social environment. A person with this type of psyche (most often it is called disorder or deviation from the norm ) cannot learn through the social environment and receive from it a lot of information important for "normal" development.

See also: "It is very important to accept the baby as he is." Why autism is not a disease

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are most often recognized by doctors as developmentally retarded - such children start talking late, do not look into the eyes, withdraw into themselves. Kindergarten teachers and teachers in schools cannot afford to give them special attention and deal with them individually, so parents are advised to send them to a remedial kindergarten or special school.

"There are difficulties in recognizing a lie or some kind of hint. For others, some signals may be obvious, but it can be difficult for me. For example, once they told me that they were flirting with me, but I did not understand. It's a shame very much,” says Ilyas (the name was changed at the request of the hero). “A phrase like “You understand what I mean” is damned at all. No, I don’t understand.”

It is not clear whether multiple gene interactions or infrequent mutations contribute more to the occurrence of autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms of ASD include:

  • Stereotypical behavior. A person is absorbed in monotonous actions, as he tries with all his might to avoid any changes in the way of life;

  • Lack of learning. Nearly 100% of children with Kanner's syndrome (a nuclear form of childhood autism) have an IQ level below 100. At the same time, learning problems are not only in severe form of ASD: the intelligence of people with Asperger's syndrome is usually average or even above average, but the learning problem is not disappears;

  • Seizures. A quarter of people with severe forms of ASD and about 5% of autistic people with a mild disorder and a normal level of intelligence development suffer from seizures;

  • Hyperexcitability and motor activity, disorder of concentration. Most often, hyperactivity manifests itself with tasks and actions imposed from outside, it is easier for a person to concentrate on independently chosen tasks;

  • Outbursts of anger , caused by the fact that a person cannot explain his needs or that someone interferes with his rituals and routine;

  • Increased sensory perception and increased attention. There is no firm evidence that sensory symptoms may be a feature that distinguishes autism from other developmental disorders.

Of course, there are a number of traits that make a person diagnosed with autism (for example, some kind of distortion of speech communication), but if you look into the details, then no two people with an autism spectrum disorder are the same. Different habits, different fears and manners, different principles and methods of interaction with the surrounding reality. Other methods. Not the kind people are used to, whose condition is closer to the norm accepted in society. Hence the main marker by which these people can be "identified" is stigmatization. Children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder are immediately recognized as mentally ill, and some relatives, parents, or even doctors try to treat autism. Sometimes in rather strange ways.

So, on one of the information sites, under an article about autism spectrum disorders, a woman seriously writes that the wording "another type of psyche" was invented by the Americans, whose goal, of course, is to destroy our people (the site is Russian, and the people mean Russian), and, in order to resist, this must be "uprooted". For example, eliminating dairy products from the child's diet. How and in what way this will help - the commentator does not specify.

Is autism a disease?

There are no autism spectrum disorders in the classification of mental disorders and diseases in Kazakhstan according to ICD-10 (Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases). According to specialists from the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation, autism as a mental illness is included in the classification of diseases, but there is no concept of "autism spectrum disorder", which does not apply to diseases.

Autism is not a disease / Photo by the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation

The classification of mental disorders adopted in Russia includes several diagnoses related to ASD - childhood autism, atypical autism, Asperger's syndrome (F-84.0, F-84.01 and F-84.5 according to the ICD-10 classification, respectively). It is important that during the life of one person these diagnoses can change, and doctors can confuse one with the other. The problem has not been sufficiently studied, and society knows very little about it at all. What do you imagine when you hear "autism" other than Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man"?

In the public domain there are special tests for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders. It is important to understand that after going through them, you will not be able to make a diagnosis for yourself, but they will help you navigate and understand whether you need to go to a specialist. You can take such a test here or here (the latter is more complicated, it is just designed for self-diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome; tests for children can also be found on the same site).

"The disorder manifests itself in the fact that, for example, too bright lights or loud sounds can annoy you. I'm not sure that this can be understood correctly the first time. I'll try to explain. You don't feel discomfort or some other unpleasant feelings, but horror "Stranger company - panic attack, no clear, predictable structure and topic of conversation - panic attack. Help, although it may sound funny, repetitive actions, it calms the nerves, and sometimes alcohol."

There are statistics only for children: according to the PMPK (Psychological-Medical-Pedagogical Commission) for 2018, the number of children with autism in Kazakhstan is 3820. However, according to an expert assessment by Professor Eric Fombonne (University of Oregon, USA), who studied the prevalence of the disorder in Kazakhstan – We have 59 thousand children with ASD. Unfortunately, it is impossible to name the exact number of people who are born, live and try to overcome sometimes insurmountable barriers in interaction with the social environment in Kazakhstan.

In the United States, for example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism is diagnosed in 1 in 68 children.

Autism is an umbrella term for many different conditions. The root difference between people with ASD lies in the disorder of empathy (a person's ability to perceive other people's emotions and respond to them), due to genes. About 70% of cases are associated with mutations in genes. Also, the cause of autistic disorder may be late pregnancy, late age of parents at the time of conception, illness of the mother during pregnancy. Modern methods of genetic testing can detect autism in only 25% of patients.

How is autism treated?

Autism, specialists of the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation are sure, is not a disease, but a special state of development of a child with impairments in three areas: communication, social interaction, patterns of repetitive actions. Therefore, autism is not treated, but helps to improve skills in these areas in order to improve the quality of life of the child. Yes, a person with ASD needs special treatment, and this does not make him different from everyone else, but society is not ready to recognize ASD as a variant of the norm.

Asperger's Syndrome (named after the Austrian pediatrician and psychiatrist Hans Asperger) is a high-functioning autism disorder that retains basic cognitive skills but has severe socialization problems. Asperger's is often characterized by marked clumsiness. The term was introduced in the 80s, and diagnostic standards were developed in the 90s.

Say the word "autistic" and then describe what comes to mind. This is a child. Most likely a boy. He sits in a corner, hugging his knees, and sways from side to side. He hardly talks, only mumbles something under his breath, does not look into his eyes and plays with only one toy. Plus, he's probably a genius. So? Type "autism" in a search engine and you will get two dozen articles mentioning Newton, Einstein, Mozart, Marie Curie. In the minds of the majority, this "disease" works on the principle of conservation of energy: if you cannot integrate into social society, you will be a great mathematician. This is not true.

See also: Learning to speak with JASPER: how to help people with autism

"The hardest thing, to be honest, was when I was a kid. I don't know how it is for others, because Asperger's is the mildest form of autism, but it's a shame when you're doing homework with your mom and you tell her that you can’t understand something, you don’t understand and you can’t do anything about it, and the answer is: “You can do everything, don’t be lazy!” Of course, it’s important to say that mom is not to blame for this, such disorders have only recently been diagnosed, but this gives rise to fears in you, a feeling of inferiority, a feeling that they are here - normal people who understand that you are, and you are somewhere outside.

People with ASD do develop asynchronously: some cognitive skills improve faster, some may not show progress at all, but the philistine idea of ​​their genius is exaggerated - there are as many gifted among them as among "normal" people. "Genial madman" (or "scientific idiot") is a very different disorder - savantism (outstanding ability in one or more areas of knowledge, in contrast to the general narrowness of the personality) - which does not occur only in autistic people.

The latest Danish study - the largest to date - looked at 6,517 cases of autism from a sample of 650,000 children followed over 10 years. No association with the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine could be found.

The otherness of people with ASD is due to their characteristics: a person can be obsessed with mechanical objects and echolocation (uncontrolled repetition of other people's words) or reversal of pronouns (you ask: “What is your name?”, The child answers: “Your name is Ilyas”), fixated on what -something repetitive action, may have difficulty with when to say, why to say and what to say in a given situation. Most often, people with ASD cannot assess social risks, because they do not understand the generally accepted rules and unspoken signals (the most difficult is with the unspoken rules of behavior, for example, the same flirting). In addition, people with ASD are more prone to stress and phobias.

"At the same time, I'm not stupid, I understand that my fears have no rational basis. No one is watching me, no one is laughing at me, and normal people have problems with speech," says Ilyas. I have a daughter, I am the same as you. My morning differs from yours only in daytime tranquilizers and an auto-training program at the mirror. I have a job, friends, although they are few, but, for example, I do not need to take drugs to please serotonin pit. I don't get out of it most of my life."

Due to the fact that there are problems with fitting into social norms, a person with an autism spectrum disorder tends to streamline: this is how a world that was not created for him becomes more or less comfortable.

I must say that children with autism are well trained, but this, in contrast to working with ordinary children, is a much more complex process, subject to a slightly different logic. By helping a child with ASD learn from an early age, professionals can transform the child. In Kazakhstan, both non-profit and commercial organizations work with children with ASD. They provide a variety of services, including behavioral intervention services, sports activities, tutoring services, inclusion in general education programs, and more.

"Learning is very difficult. Information is hard to assimilate, it's hard for you to understand what you read or what they tell you, but even if you understand, but don't know why it is necessary, how to use this information, it is assimilated even worse. At the same time, you see, that others already bounce off their teeth and think that you are just stupid. Why do you need to behave this way at school and not otherwise? This question tormented me all my childhood. But you can adapt. Doing it like this is great, good, I will Imitation turned out to be the best option for me: you choose an object for yourself and just behave in the same way," says Ilyas.

Corrective therapy, or so-called behavioral intervention, is used to work with people with ASD. The goal is to eliminate unwanted behaviors and develop useful skills for the person. (Thus, they work not only with autism, but also with phobias and, for example, drug addiction).

"There are statistics on children who are registered and receive services at the Asyl Miras Autism Centers," says Zhanyl Mukashova, program director of the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation, "including the diagnostic service, intervention programs, and a program of work with parents. Currently, 6783 are registered in our centers children aged 0-15 years, of which 82% of children, according to the results of the work of the diagnostic service, revealed the autism spectrum.

There are at least two types of interventional therapy: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EBE) and problem-based outpatient or counseling services.

Learn more