There are three types of autism spectrum disorders:
This is sometimes called “classic” autism. It is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism”. People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have an intellectual disability.
People with Asperger syndrome usually have milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests. However, they typically do not have problems with language or intellectual disability.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified
This is sometimes called “atypical autism,” or PDD-NOS. People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome, but not all, may be diagnosed with atypical autism. These people usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder. The symptoms might cause only social and communication challenges.