Jump to content


National Autism Network

Join Today for FREE!

Look here for additional resources related to What is Autism?. Go to resources



DSM-IV Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders



Prior to the release of the DSM-5, the DSM-IV had Autism Spectrum Disorders broken down into three distinct classifications. These were: Classic Autism/ Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger's Disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2 give the following description for the three forms of ASD:

  • Classic Autism/ Autistic Disorder: A disorder which prevents the individual from displaying functional social, communication, behavioral, and intellectual abilities.


-DSM-IV Criteria for 299.00 Autistic Disorder 4

  • Asperger's Syndrome: A mild form of autism where the individual may display some symptoms of autism, such as social, communication, and behavioral difficulties, but do not necessarily display poorly functioning language and intellectual abilities.


-DSM-IV Criteria for 299.80 Asperger's Disorder 4

  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS): This disorder will affect a person’s ability to socialize and communicate on a normal level, but rarely extends to intellectual or language difficulties.


-DSM-IV Criteria for 299.80 PDD-NOS (Including Atypical Autism 4