1. Deficits in Social Communication and Interaction
Can manifest as difficulty initiating or maintaining conversations, poor eye contact, and difficulty understanding social cues.
2. Restricted, Repetitive Patterns of Behavior, Interests, or Activities
Can include obsessions with certain topics or activities, insistence on sameness, and repetitive movements like hand flapping or rocking.
3. Symptoms Must Be Present in Early Childhood
The symptoms of autism must be present in early childhood in order to make a diagnosis.
4. Cannot Be Better Explained by Another Psychiatric Disorder
Autism cannot be better explained by another psychiatric disorder such as ADHD or OCD.
5. Significant Impairment in Daily Functioning
Individuals with autism often experience significant impairment in their daily functioning, impacting their ability to perform tasks like going to school or work, interacting with others, or taking care of themselves.