Table 1.

Diagnostic Criteria for 299.00 Autistic Disorder

Detailed information on other PDD diagnoses can be found in the comprehensive background paper.1
A. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with two from (1), and at least one each from (2) and (3):
1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, manifest by at least two of the following:
• Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures, to regulate social interaction
• Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
• Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)
• Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
2. Qualitative impairment in communication, as manifest by at least one of the following:
• Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime)
• In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
• Stereotyped and repetitive use of language, or idiosyncratic language
• Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe, or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level
3. Restrictive repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
• Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
• Apparently inflexible adherence to specific nonfunctional routines or rituals
• Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
• Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:
1. Social interaction
2. Language as used in social communication
3. Symbolic or imaginative play
C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s disorder or childhood disintegrative disorder.
The other pervasive developmental disorders include Asperger’s disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder—not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), or atypical autism.
Reprinted with permission from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994:70–71.