Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), describes a group of brain disorders that affect social interactions, communication, and other behaviors. The official definition of autism recently changed with the release of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM is the manual that psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals use to diagnose autism and other disorders.
ASERT is working to develop materials to help the community understand the changes. In the meantime, this list of Frequently Asked Questions about the new DSM from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry helps explain the changes.
DSM Changes FAQ