What Is Autism?
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that affects boys four times as often as girls. Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are usually called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) by physicians. PDD is a group of three conditions -- autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. The conditions are characterized by problems communicating and relating to others, and a need to follow rigid routines and to engage in repetitive behaviors or language.
Some pediatricians are knowledgeable enough to diagnose PDD, but the majority need the support of a specialist, especially if a child has already received an ADHD diagnosis.