Whether due to better diagnostic tools and physician awareness or an actual increase in the disorder itself, more and more children are being diagnosed with autistic-spectrum disorder (abbreviated as ASD and also known as pervasive development disorder, or PDD). In fact, the CDC estimates that 3- 6 in 1000 children in the US fall somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Autism represents the severe end of this spectrum with Asperger’s syndrome representing a less severe form of ASD. Many adults with Asperger’s syndrome are able to sustain highly successful professional, social and family lives. Some find success after completing an Asperger treatment program. Those afflicted with more severe forms of ASD may require intensive lifelong care.
In addition to autism and Asperger’s syndrome, ASD may take other forms, including Rett syndrome (which mostly affects females), child disintegrative disorder (which mostly affects boys), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PSD NOS).