The Spectrum Of Autism Spectrum Disorders Essay

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The spectrum for autism disorders can be depicted as a scale, with end points ranging from mild to severe. Picturing an umbrella shaped scale that portrays the severity of symptoms, whether their deficits are cognitive, social, or of language; individuals diagnosed with autism or similar disorders fall into a comprehensive term of autism spectrum disorders (Hallahan et. al, 2015, p. 211). The term autism spectrum disorders derive various definitions depending on the type of professional is questioned. A medical definition of autism spectrum disorders provided by the Mayo Clinic in 2014 states, “an autism spectrum disorder is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs a child 's ability to communicate and interact with others. It also includes restricted repetitive behaviors, interests and activities. These issues cause significant impairment in social, occupational and other areas of functioning.” This is not the definition that will be referenced in this paper. The definition that is applicable to this paper is the educational definition, mandated by federal law to be used in public schools. The educational definition of autism spectrum disorders according to the book Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to Special Education by Hallahan, Kauffman, and Pullen is “a disability wherein symptom fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe; DSM-5 divides them into two general domains: ‘social communication impairment’ and ‘repetitive restricted behaviors.’” A

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