What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder which is present in children from early years, the first symptoms start presenting by the age of 5. It is a condition that is marked by specific symptoms in the area of social relations, games, interests and imagination.

The disorder has many forms and grades of severity according to the disruption in the particular areas. (Starting from the isolation of the individual „in their own world“, with an inability to communicate; engage in play; register and understand, what are for typically developing people, ordinary changes; at the first instance unobservable eccentricities in the behaviour of the child with an above avarage ability to communicate about them in an intelligent way.) Individuals with this type of disability were labelled as „uneducatable“. There is however longitudinal evidence from 9 years collected from developed countries that educating these children has a future and meaning.

People with autism require a special type of care and education thanks to which they are capable, at least to some extent, to fit into „our world“ with the possibility of leading a valued life.

Asperger’s syndrome

The term Asperger’s syndrome refers to the same category of qualitative disorders of social interaction, typical for autism, paired with a limited and repetitive repertoire of narrow interests and activities. The main distinction from classical autism is the lack of delayed language as well as typically developed cognitive skills. Most individuals possess typically developed intelligence, which operates impractically. Asperger’s syndrome is mostly present in males (ratio 8:1). There can be brief psychotic episodes present during early adulthood.

There are more detailed informations (only in Slovak) in the links to the scientific papers.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders – ICD 10

A group of disorders characterized by qualitative abnormalities in reciprocal social interactions and in patterns of communication, and by a restricted, stereotyped, repetitive repertoire of interests and activities. These qualitative abnormalities are a pervasive feature of the individual's functioning in all situations.The Autistic centre Andreas®, n.o. is a non-governmental organization which has activities in entire Slovakia. It was established in 2001 for the purpose of providing generally-beneficial services in the area of social aid and humanitarian care exclusively for populations that have the autistic syndrome.

Use additional code, if desired, to identify any associated medical condition and mental retardation.

F84.0 Childhood Autism

A type of pervasive developmental disorder that is defined by: (a) the presence of abnormal or impaired development that is manifest before the age of three years, and (b) the characteristic type of abnormal functioning in all the three areas of psychopathology: reciprocal social interaction, communication, and restricted, stereotyped, repetitive behaviour. In addition to these specific diagnostic features, a range of other nonspecific problems are common, such as phobias, sleeping and eating disturbances, temper tantrums, and (self-directed) aggression.

Autistic disorder Infantile:

  • Autism
  • Psychosis
  • Kanner syndrome
  • Excl.: Autistic Psychopathy (F84.5)
  • F84.1 Atypical Autism

    A type of pervasive developmental disorder that differs from childhood autism either in age of onset or in failing to fulfil all three sets of diagnostic criteria. This subcategory should be used when there is abnormal and impaired development that is present only after age three years, and a lack of sufficient demonstrable abnormalities in one or two of the three areas of psychopathology required for the diagnosis of autism (namely, reciprocal social interactions, communication, and restricted, stereotyped, repetitive behaviour) in spite of characteristic abnormalities in the other area(s). Atypical autism arises most often in profoundly retarded individuals and in individuals with a severe specific developmental disorder of receptive language.

    Atypical autism:

  • Atypical childhood psychosis
  • Psychosis
  • Mental retardation with autistic features
  • use additional code (F70 - F79), if desired, to identify mental retardation
  • F84.2 Rett Syndrome

    A condition, so far found only in girls, in which apparently normal early development is followed by partial or complete loss of speech and of skills in locomotion and use of hands, together with deceleration in head growth, usually with an onset between seven and 24 months of age. Loss of purposive hand movements, hand-wringing stereotypies, and hyperventilation are characteristic. Social and play development are arrested but social interest tends to be maintained. Trunk ataxia and apraxia start to develop by age four years and choreoathetoid movements frequently follow. Severe mental retardation almost invariably results.

    F84.3 Other Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

    A type of pervasive developmental disorder that is defined by a period of entirely normal development before the onset of the disorder, followed by a definite loss of previously acquired skills in several areas of development over the course of a few months. Typically, this is accompanied by a general loss of interest in the environment, by stereotyped, repetitive motor mannerisms, and by autistic-like abnormalities in social interaction and communication. In some cases the disorder can be shown to be due to some associated encephalopathy but the diagnosis should be made on the behavioural features.

    Other Childhood Disintegrative Disorder:

  • Dementia Infantilis
  • Disintegrative Psychosis
  • Heller Syndrome
  • Symbiotic Psychosis
  • use additional code, if desired, to identify any associated neurological condition.
  • Excl.: Rett syndrome (F84.2)
  • F84.4 Overactive disorder associated with mental retardation and stereotyped movements

    An ill-defined disorder of uncertain nosological validity. The category is designed to include a group of children with severe mental retardation (IQ below 35) who show major problems in hyperactivity and in attention, as well as stereotyped behaviours. They tend not to benefit from stimulant drugs (unlike those with an IQ in the normal range) and may exhibit a severe dysphoric reaction (sometimes with psychomotor retardation) when given stimulants. In adolescence, the overactivity tends to be replaced by underactivity (a pattern that is not usual in hyperkinetic children with normal intelligence). This syndrome is also often associated with a variety of developmental delays, either specific or global. The extent to which the behavioural pattern is a function of low IQ or of organic brain damage is not known.

    F84.5 Asperger Syndrome

    A disorder of uncertain nosological validity, characterized by the same type of qualitative abnormalities of reciprocal social interaction that typify autism, together with a restricted, stereotyped, repetitive repertoire of interests and activities. It differs from autism primarily in the fact that there is no general delay or retardation in language or in cognitive development. This disorder is often associated with marked clumsiness. There is a strong tendency for the abnormalities to persist into adolescence and adult life. Psychotic episodes occasionally occur in early adult life.

    Asperger Syndrome

  • Autistic psychopathy
  • Schizoid disorder of childhood
  • F84.8 Other pervasive developmental disorders

    F84.9 Pervasive developmental disorder, unspecified

    F88 Other disorders of psychological development

    Incl.:- Developmental agnosia

    F89 Unspecified disorder of psychological development

    Incl.: Developmental disorder NOS (Not otherwise specified)