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Table 3 DSM-IV Criteria for Autism Disorder, and Scoring

From: Corticosteroid therapy in regressive autism: a retrospective study of effects on the Frequency Modulated Auditory Evoked Response (FMAER), language, and behavior


A subject must have a total of six (or more) items from A1, A2, and A3. with at least two from A1 and at least one each from A2 and A3


Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:


Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction.


Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level


Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)


Lack of social or emotional reciprocity


Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:


Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mine)


In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others (omitted from scoring – see text)


Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language


Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level


Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:


Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped patterns of behavior and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus


Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or interests


Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)


Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects


A subject must show delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to 3 years:


Social interaction

B 2)

Language as used in social communication


Symbolic or imaginative play

Graded scoring – each item:

(Item A2b omitted)


 = absent


 = possibly or very mildly present


 = definitely present


 = a very dominant characteristic

 Overall score

 = average of 14 scored items