Daily Checkup: Autism Spectrum Disorder Cuts Across Racial, Ethnic and Socioeconomic Lines

 – April 19, 2015  –– 

When the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) was published almost two years ago, this fifth edition again changed how autism was defined. "Autism spectrum disorder is now an umbrella term we use to describe a set of complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social and communication deficits and repetitive behaviors," says the clinical director of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai, Alexander Kolevzon, MD. "The changes in the DSM-5 criteria allowed us to shift the emphasis away from distinguishing between different subtypes of autism and instead to focus on important features like level of language, cognitive functioning, and need for support."

-Dr. Alexander Kolevzon, Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Clinical Director, Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai

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