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used.  The diagnosis of “autism” for the purposes of the Registry is defined as a set of symptoms that are described in Delaware Administrative Code (4109) and is included in the Appendix.  Symptoms included are primarily selected symptoms from the DSM-IV.  Required reporters is broad and includes any health care or health care related practitioners who make a diagnosis of autism in a child under the age of 18 and any hospital that diagnoses a child under the age of 18 with autism.


The terms autism spectrum disorder and pervasive developmental disorder have similar meaning.  The term autism spectrum ASD) is increasing popular term which expresses the concept of autistic symptoms being on a continuum.  Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is an umbrella term that is used in both the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual IV (American Psychiatric association, 1994) and the International Classification of Diseases 10 (World health Organization, 1994) to group specific diagnostic conditions which are somewhat related.  The term autistic spectrum disorder does not have specific diagnostic significance and may be interpreted differently by different individuals.  Pervasive developmental disorder does have diagnostic meaning and relates to specific diagnoses in the DSM-IV and ICD-10 and therefore more agreement exists regarding diagnostic definitions.  That being said, there is general agreement regarding the hallmark characteristics of individuals with these disorders.  Prominent characteristics include:

(1) social abnormalities, especially a lack of social reciprocity;

(2) language abnormalities, with deviant communication features and/or limited development of language; and

(3) rigid, stereotyped, repetitive patterns of unusual behavior, interests or activities.

The DSM-IV and ICD-10 are similar but have slightly different diagnostic scheme:

 DSM-IV Pervasive Developmental Disorders

1.   Childhood Autism

2.Asperger’s Disorder

3.Rett Disorder

4.Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

5.Pervasive Developmental Disorder –

Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

ICD 10 Pervasive Developmental Disorders 

1.Childhood Autism

2.Atypical Autism

3.Rett’s Syndrome

4.Other Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

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