Diagnostic Issues in Autism: Is it ASD, ID, or Both?

Diagnostic Points in Autism: Is it ASD, ID, or Each?


A standard diagnostic query on the UC Riverside SEARCH Heart is: How can we decide whether or not a toddler or adolescent must be given a prognosis of ASD, ID, or each? A associated query is: What’s World Developmental Delay (GDD), and the way is it the identical or totally different from ASD and/or ID?

These are nice questions which have vital implications for what providers dad and mom would possibly want to search out.

It is a two-part put up. At present’s put up will define these three diagnoses, and Half 2 will talk about how we make diagnostic selections

First, let’s outline what ID, ASD, and GDD are.


Mental incapacity (ID), typically known as Mental Developmental Dysfunction (IDD), is outlined by challenges with each mental and adaptive expertise.

Mental expertise discuss with reasoning, problem-solving, studying, planning, and many others. People with ID are usually famous to be “behind” their same-aged friends in mental expertise, which can appear like: challenges studying age-appropriate expertise, difficulties with fixing age-appropriate issues, and/or showing “immature” for his or her age. On standardized intelligence exams, an IQ rating of 70 or under is on this vary, because it represents two commonplace deviations under the inhabitants common rating, which is 100.**

Adaptive expertise refer to 1’s potential to be unbiased given their age. For instance, youngsters are anticipated to learn to brush their enamel, bathe/bathe independently, clear up after consuming or taking part in, placed on their very own clothes, and many others. As youngsters change into pre-teens, expectations change into extra advanced. For instance, pre-teens could also be anticipated to assist put together easy snacks/meals, select acceptable clothes based mostly on the climate, and use the web/library to acquire info to finish schoolwork.

Taken collectively, then, a person with ID can have difficulties with each mental expertise and adaptive expertise. If a toddler is simply scuffling with considered one of these two issues, (e.g., scuffling with some intelligence expertise—resembling lecturers—however has age-appropriate adaptive expertise), an alternate prognosis must be thought-about.


World Developmental Delay (GDD) is used for youngsters below 5 years of age who show early indicators/signs of ID. As it’s difficult to systematically assess mental functioning in younger youngsters, this prognosis permits youngsters to obtain mandatory providers/helps whereas ready for a re-assessment once they can take part in standardized testing/assessments.


Autism spectrum dysfunction (ASD) is characterised by two issues: Challenges with age-appropriate social communication and the presence of restricted pursuits and/or repetitive behaviors. Social communication refers to each verbal communication (e.g., speech, language), and non-verbal communication (e.g., gestures, eye contact, and physique language). Social communication additionally contains the flexibility to know social relationships and efficiently navigate these relationships.

Restricted pursuits usually appear like a selected curiosity that’s both inappropriate in depth (e.g., a 6-year-old liking video video games is frequent, but when she or he can solely discuss video video games to the exclusion of every part else, it is perhaps a restricted curiosity), or in focus (e.g., a 6-year-old with a powerful curiosity in bus routes or drain pipes). Repetitive behaviors can embrace stereotyped motor actions (e.g., “hand flapping,” spinning repeatedly), repetitive/stereotyped play (e.g., insistence on lining up blocks/vehicles in a particular order relatively than displaying purposeful play), sensory hyper- or hypo-sensitivity, or insistence on sameness/inflexibility.


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