What are the Three Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

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This blog will give you a quick overview of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the three types.

There are four types of autism spectrum disorders. These include Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Autism, and Rett Syndrome Read more in detail here: what are the 4 types of autism.

There are several forms of autism, just as there are various kinds of anxiety disorders, diabetes, and developmental disorders. There are five distinct varieties of anxiety, each with its unique set of symptoms. On a spectrum, certain forms of anxiety are distinct, while others have symptoms in common. So how many different forms of autism are there? Although three different sub-types of autism fall under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is considered the general designation for the condition. 

When you hear the word “spectrum,” you may picture a band of various blue hues. Although they vary in lightness from darkest to lightest, all of the hues may be considered “blue.” Another analogy is a rating scale with two opposing or extreme points. Similar thinking should be used to the phrase “autism spectrum disorder ” which refers to a range of symptoms that people with autism may experience, from moderate to severe. 

One of the millions of individuals impacted by autism worldwide may be you. You may be aware of the disorder’s effects on people and the world or know someone who is directly impacted. You should educate yourself on autism and the three varieties of autism spectrum disorder in any case. With a greater understanding of the many forms of autism, you’ll be able to engage and communicate with people who have various forms of autism more successfully. 

You have all the knowledge and understanding you need to comprehend the degrees of autism thanks to the material in this post.

See also: What are the 10 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Signs that are Most Common?

What are the 3 Different Forms of Autism?

The 3 forms of autism that will be covered are as follows:

  • Condition of Autism
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Disorder of Pervasive Development

Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Is It?

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by the National Institute of Mental Health as a “collection of developmental diseases” that “includes a broad variety of symptoms, abilities, and degrees of impairment.” Approximately 1 in 68 persons have autism in some form. These are the primary features of those with autism spectrum disorders:

  • Limited interests and repetitive or constrictive habits.
  • symptoms that interfere with their capacity to conduct themselves appropriately in social situations.
  • persistent social issues that might make it challenging to engage or communicate with others.

They include additional symptoms that are divided into two groups in order to be more detailed.

Typical social contact and communication patterns include:

  • making little or sporadic eye contact
  • a tendency to not look at or pay attention to others
  • seldom pointing out or demonstrating things to others in order to share the delight of goods or activities
  • not responding right away when someone calls their name or makes another vocal effort to get their attention
  • Having trouble keeping up with the conversation’s back and forth
  • often droning on for an extended period of time about a favored topic without recognizing that others are not interested or giving them an opportunity to answer
  • having non-coherent a person’s expressions, gestures, and motions while speaking
  • having an odd speech tone that might come out as sing-songy or flat and robotic
  • being unable to comprehend another person’s viewpoint or their behaviors, or having problems predicting their actions

Among the repetitive or restrictive habits are:

  • repeating specific actions or acting in a unique way. For instance, the action of repeating words or phrases is known as echolalia.
  • having a long-lasting fascination with a certain subject, such figures, specifics, or facts
  • having excessively narrow interests, such as those in moving things or object portions
  • being offended by even little alterations to a routine
  • being more or less sensitive to sensory input, such as light, sound, clothes, or temperature, than other individuals

Although symptoms may sometimes be seen as early as two years old, many people are not identified until they are of school age or even in high school. Everything relies on how serious the symptoms are and if anybody notices that anything is wrong. 

While some people may only have mild to moderate symptoms of autism, others may experience more severe effects. The three different spectrum diseases are relevant in this context. The different levels of symptoms for each sort of spectrum serve as a definition.

What are the 3 Different Forms of Autism?


What is Condition of Autism?

This type of spectrum is known as “classic” autism. The classic Condition of Autism is what people typically think of when they hear the word “autism.” According to the Autism Support of West Shore, those with this type of spectrum disorder have “significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests.” These individuals are usually affected by intellectual disabilities. This type is considered the most severe form of autism.  It’s also the most common.

People who have Condition of Autism may:

  • having a hard time allowing others to touch them,
  • conduct confined or repeated actions, such as fidgeting or hand-flapping
  • feel overwhelmed by sensory input,
  • communication difficulties or inadequate social skills

Signs of autism may be different in children depending on their age.  Young children may begin showing signs of Condition of Autism within their first 12 months of life.  They may avoid eye contact or fail to return a smile from their mother or father.   Older children may find it difficult to communicate how they feel.  They may have a hard time making friends or seem unable to understand how others are thinking and feeling.  

According to research, an autism diagnosis and early intervention have a favorable long-term impact on a child’s life. Children with an autism diagnosis may develop better linguistic and behavioral abilities with the support of appropriate early intervention.

Some people refer to ‘levels’ when speaking or writing about forms of autism. To compare Condition of Autism to a level, you would look at levels two and three on the spectrum, which are the most severe (three) and moderate (two). 

The specialists at Autism Speaks go into further depth on the three types of autism and cite the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders from the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5 ). 

  • “Needing extremely strong help,” Level 3.
  • Level 2: “needing significant help,” 
  • “Requiring assistance” at level 1.

As you can see, there is a range in the severity of autism and the amount of help that an individual with autism typically needs for each. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is the mildest form of autism and is closely associated with level one of ASD. 


Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Is It?

One of the minor autism spectrum illnesses is this one. Although Asperger’s symptoms sometimes overlap with those of the other categories, they are often less severe. Asperger Syndrome sufferers could exhibit unusual:

  • behaviors
  • interests
  • social difficulties

Of this sort of range, these symptoms are often the most challenging. People with Asperger’s syndrome often do not have language or intellectual handicap issues. Academically, Asperger’s syndrome sufferers often do well.  

The autism experts at applied behavioral Analysis Programs list 10 common characteristics of someone who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

  • Interest in the arts or intellect
  • Speech variations
  • sluggish motor development
  • inadequate social skills
  • the emergence of detrimental psychological conditions
  • Detail-oriented
  • Persistence
  • non-socially motivated
  • high character
  • experts in routine

What are some of the similarities between Condition of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder?

It is well recognized that people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome struggle in social and behavioral circumstances. They also have trouble developing and maintaining connections. They both often struggle to read accurately:

  • social signals,
  • a person’s expressions,
  • and hand signals.

Did you know that several celebrities have come out to the public about having Autism Spectrum Disorder? Guess who?

  • Aykroyd, Dan
  • Justice Love
  • Judith Thunberg
  • Theodore Hopkins 
  • Warhol, Andy
  • D.B. Byrne
  • Taylor, James
  • Certainly a lot more! 

Many of the individuals you know may not even be aware that they have Asperger’s syndrome. Many people come onto a description of it and exclaim, “Hey, that sounds exactly like me!” Some people aren’t even formally diagnosed until they are older. Or maybe someone close to them says something and they start to wonder. While some people would choose to have a professional diagnosis, others might not want to be “tagged.” Any method is ok! Being identified as having an ASD type does not alter who you are on the inside or out. 

Pervasive developmental disorder: what is it?

As “atypical autism,” Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is another name for it. PDD is normally only given to those who partially match the requirements for the other two forms of ASD. Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) sufferers have fewer or milder symptoms. People with PDD-NOS often only struggle with social and communication issues. These are often the autistic kinds with the greatest levels of functioning. Simply said, they do not fall under any of the other ASD forms or classifications.

When young children exhibit modest autistic symptoms, PDD-NOS is often diagnosed. After many observational periods, it could become clear that the youngster really belongs in levels one or two. It might turn out that the kid really has no autism at all. 

According to Applied Behavioral Analysis Programs’ autism specialists: 

“A person is often diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder if they have social and communication difficulties but do not, for whatever reason, exhibit other Asperger’s characteristics, such as obsessions with certain subjects, developmental delays, or odd mannerisms. The highest-functioning autism subtype, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is characterized by persons having difficulties connecting to others, expressing themselves verbally, tolerating change in their environment or routines, and managing their own emotions.

Getting a Diagnosis Early is Important

autism spectrum disorderAlthough the majority of people with ASD get their diagnosis as children, many people continue to wait until later in life to receive their diagnosis for a variety of reasons. Early diagnosis of ASD is necessary so that therapy can start. 

The following is stated by the CDC, which also provides a summary of the stages involved in identifying and diagnosing ASD:

“To ensure that children get the assistance and support they need to attain their full potential, it is crucial to monitor, test, evaluate, and diagnose children with ASD as early as possible.”

  • developmental observation
  • a developmental check
  • thorough developmental assessment 

For more details, review the CDC’s Fact Sheet on developmental observation and Screening. 

A clinician may assist in the diagnosing process even if there is no specific technical test for ASD in adults. If you think you may have ASD, speak with your doctor to learn what steps you should take to get a formal diagnosis. Additionally, it is quite OK if you believe you have ASD but don’t want a diagnosis. The most important thing is whatever you believe is necessary for your happiness and success in life. 

Conclusion: There are several forms of autism.

Understanding the three different forms of ASD might help you better comprehend people with autism. Due to new studies, more knowledge on autism has recently become available. More information about:

  • symptoms,
  • distinctive qualities, and
  • therapy options for this condition.

In comparison to prior years, we now know a lot more about ASD. Treatments and therapies for people with autism still need further study.

Both types of ASD patients may have fulfilling lives. To guarantee success in the crucial areas of need, some people need an early diagnosis and the implementation of ABA therapies. Please inform the teacher, parent, school nurse, clinician, etc. about your findings if you believe a kid may have an ASD type. The trick is to get involved quickly.

Programs for ABA Help Staff

January 2021 revision


The “what are the 7 types of autism” is a question that can be answered by looking at the ways in which people with ASD experience their world. There are three main types: Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Autistic Disorder.

Related Tags

  • what are the 5 different types of autism
  • high-functioning autism spectrum disorder
  • types of autism in adults
  • rare types of autism
  • autism spectrum disorder symptoms

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