Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Diagnostic Boundaries of Autism

  • Fred R. VolkmarEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102536-1


The boundaries of autism – an area where the lines of distinction are increasingly unclear.

Historical Background

In psychiatry the publication of the DSM-III as atheoretical and phenomenological orientation (Spitzer et al. 1978) stimulated considerable research and helped us ponder boundaries or what was “normal” and “pathological” (often related to issues of issues of distress or impairment.). Boundary issues of normal and psychopathological were particularly complex in the area of personality problems/differences and in the area of developmental disorder like autism. Autism and related conditions, including Asperger’s disorder, provide some of the best models for illustrating the importance of the neurodiversity movement and the recognition of a broader range of the autistic phenotype.

Autism itself was first described clinically in the 1940s but only not recognized as a diagnosis until the 1980s in the landmark DSM-III (APA 1980). There were many problems with this...

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References and Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child Study Center, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and PsychologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA