The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version 5 (DSM-5) has changed how practitioners diagnose. Asperger Syndrome and PDD-NOS are no longer separate diagnoses. Going forward, everyone who meets criteria for Autism will be given one of three severity levels. If you or your child already have a diagnosis of PDD-NOS or Asperger Syndrome, there’s no need to change your diagnosis. This change affects only people diagnosed after May 2013. This page remains on our site because many people already have this diagnosis, and the terms are still in use.

Important Information About Asperger Syndrome and PDD-NOS:

Asperger Syndrome is a Spectrum Disorder in which no language delay occurs, and IQ measures average to high — but is accompanied by social and communication challenges. It was named for the Austrian pediatrician, Hans Asperger.

Dr. Asperger called AS persons “little professors” because of their ability to talk about their favorite subject in great detail. Common challenges of AS persons include social interaction, vulnerability to sensory overload, clumsiness and taking many figures of speech literally. Many adults who were very bright children but never quite “fit in” socially later realize that they may have Asperger Syndrome.

PDD-NOS (Pervasive neurodevelopmental Delay-Not Otherwise Specified) is also an Autism Spectrum diagnosis. Typically, children who display some of the characteristics of Autism or Asperger Syndrome but don’t meet all the criteria are diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Sometimes very young children who are identified having PDD-NOS are later diagnosed with Autism or Asperger Syndrome.