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Autism spectrum

The word "autism" comes from the Greek word “autos”, meaning self. It describes a person living in a world of his own. In examining the history of autism before the diagnosis it is found that autistic individuals have existed throughout the history of mankind.

Autistic syndromes are due to the developing central nervous system disorder. Autism has a variety of syndromes as a result of neurological development disorder, where both the intellectual and operational levels and capacities vary greatly. Linking symptoms of autism spectrum disorders are language and communication disorders, social interaction problems, and unusual reactions to the environment. (Kerola & Kujanpää, 2009, 23)

Underlying neurobiological developmental disorders of autism causes problems with brain functioning and sensory processing in the brain. Abnormal cognitive development of autism have been explained with three theories: 1) Theory of Mind, 2) central coherence theory, and 3) the executive dysfunction theory. (Kerola & Kujanpää, 2009, 23)

Autism Spectrum Disorder in ICD-10

F84 Pervasive developmental disorders

F84.0 Childhood autism

F84.1 Atypical autism

F84.2 Rett's syndrome

F84.3 Other childhood disintegrative disorder

F84.4 Overactive disorder associated with mental retardation and stereotyped movements

F84.5 Asperger's syndrome

F84.8 Other pervasive developmental disorders

F84.9 Pervasive developmental disorder, unspecified


In order to facilitate communication difficulties and communication education, different methods and therapies have been developed such as PECS, PRT, communication folders and also controversial methods like Facilitated Communication.

Pedagogical and rehabilitation methods

There are various pedagogical and rehabilitation methods, such as Lovaas method and TEACCH program, that are trying to respond to the problems of autism spectrum disorder.


The word "autism"

History of autism before diagnosis

Language and Communication Disorders

Social Interaction Problems

Unusual Reactions to Sensory Stimulation

Theory of Mind

Central Coherence Theory

Executive Dysfunction Theory

Autism Spectrum Disorder in ICD-10

Childhood autism

Rett's syndrome

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Asperger's syndrome

Picture Exchange Communication System

Pivotal Response Training

Communication Folders

Facilitated Communication

Lovaas method