Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by a spectrum of challenges which can vary depending on the individual. Common characteristics may include difficulty understanding social cues, reciprocating in social conversations and/or sensitivity to sensory input. They may also have repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, Autism Spectrum Disorder has three different severity levels based on social communication and restricted, repetitive behaviors.
|Severity level||Social communication||Restricted, repetitive behavior|
|Level 1- Requiring support||Difficulties in social communication. Difficulty initiating social interactions and challenges responding to social overtures of others.||Inflexibility of behavior causes some challenges. May have difficulty switching between activities or problems organizing and planning.|
|Level 2 – Requiring substantial support||Marked difficulties in verbal and nonverbal social communication. Limited initiation of social interactions and reduced responses to social overtures from others.||Inflexibility of behavior, difficulty coping with change, or other restricted/repetitive behaviors appear frequently and interfere with functioning in a variety of contexts.|
|Level 3 – Requiring very substantial support||Severe deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills cause severe impairments in functioning, very limited initiation of social interactions, and minimal response to social overtures from others.||Inflexibility of behavior, extreme difficulty coping with change, or other restricted/repetitive behaviors markedly interfere with functioning in all spheres. Great distress/difficulty changing focus or action.|