Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsCATHARINA HARTMAN: Why isn't autism called "autism" in the psychiatric handbook, the DSM? In this handbook, autism is called "autism spectrum disorder." "Spectrum" means variety. And the authors of this handbook want to emphasise the variety among people with autism. Just like you saw in the video, some people like to repeat behaviours, and others have specific special interests. Not only are there differences in symptoms, but autism also varies from mild to very severe. Mild autism is also called PDD-NOS or Asperger's syndrome. Mild autism is more common than very severe autism. But it's a spectrum. So most people are in between mild and very severe.

Why isn't autism called autism?

In this video Catharina Hartman explains that there are differences between the symptoms and also in the severity of autism. Because of this variety, autism is officially called “autism spectrum disorders”.

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This video is from the free online course:

Young People and Their Mental Health

University of Groningen