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What is Asperger Syndrome?

​Until May 2013, the term “Asperger syndrome” was used to describe a child who had some shared characteristics as children diagnosed with autism​. Asperger syndrome was considered one type of autism. 

Changes in DSM-5

Doctors use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) to assist in diagnosing mental disorders. DSM lists definitions for behavioral, developmental, and psychiatric disorders. Several conditions used to be diagnosed separately under the term “pervasive developmental disorders” or “autism spectrum disorders” in the DSM. Those conditions were:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder—not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) 
  • Asperger syndrome

With publication of the fifth edition of the DSM in May 2013, these terms listed above are no longer used and these conditions are now grouped in the broader category of autism spectrum disorder or ASD.

Additional Information: 

Last Updated
Council on Children with Disabilities (COCWD) (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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