autism spectrum disorder

variants: or less commonly autistic spectrum disorder

Definition of autism spectrum disorder 

: any of a group of developmental disorders (such as autism and Asperger's syndrome) marked by impairments in the ability to communicate and interact socially and by the presence of repetitive behaviors or restricted interests

called also pervasive developmental disorder

Examples of autism spectrum disorder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers think that a similar approach can be taken using the CRISPR-Gold technique to treat other autism spectrum disorders. Emily Price, Fortune, "Scientists Successfully Reduce Autism Symptoms in Mice Through Gene Editing," 27 June 2018 The results suggest that on their own, ultrasounds don’t cause autism spectrum disorder, says Sara Jane Webb of Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington, who co-wrote a JAMA Pediatrics companion piece. Laura Sanders, Washington Post, "A new study eases fears of a link between autism and prenatal ultrasounds," 26 Feb. 2018 When Rebecca was 4 years old, she was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Justin Wm. Moyer,, "She was tossed from a hospital on a cold night wearing only a gown. The viral video followed years of struggles.," 16 Apr. 2018 But there are many ways in which special education can help improve the quality of life for children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Eam Asaduzzaman And Shababa Iqbal, The Christian Science Monitor, "School in Bangladesh builds confidence for autistic students – and their parents," 10 July 2018 The second-oldest, 14-year-old Jimi Scott, has autism spectrum disorder. Erin Gabriel, CNN, "NBA makes space for fans with autism spectrum disorder," 30 Mar. 2018 Her staff provides support to individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury and autism spectrum disorders. Michael L. Jackson, Indianapolis Star, "Top Workplaces 2018: Insights Consulting," 10 June 2018 For children with autism spectrum disorder, a trip to an amusement park — with its loud music and commotion — can be overwhelming. Christopher Jensen,, "Story Land seeks to calm the commotion for children with autism," 21 June 2018 Hope For Three Autism Advocates will honor phenomenal fathers over Father’s Day weekend, June 16 and 17, by posting inspirational stories, quotes, and pictures of Fort Bend fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Hope For Three honoring fathers of children with autism," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autism spectrum disorder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of autism spectrum disorder

1981, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about autism spectrum disorder

Share autism spectrum disorder

Resources for autism spectrum disorder

Dictionary Entries near autism spectrum disorder

author number



autism spectrum disorder



autistic disorder

Statistics for autism spectrum disorder

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for autism spectrum disorder

The first known use of autism spectrum disorder was in 1981

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for autism spectrum disorder

autism spectrum disorder

variants: also autistic spectrum disorder

Medical Definition of autism spectrum disorder 

: any of a group of developmental disorders (such as autism and Asperger's syndrome) marked by impairments in the ability to communicate and interact socially and by the presence of repetitive behaviors or restricted interests One in 110 American 8-year-olds had an autism spectrum disorder in 2006, an increase of 57% since 2002 … —Melinda Beck, The Wall Street Journal, 2 Feb. 2010 Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by impairments in social behaviors that are sometimes coupled to specialized cognitive abilities. —Katsuhiko Tabuchi et al., Science, 5 Oct. 2007 Nearly 2 million Americans have Asperger's or other autistic spectrum disorders that mute their social radar. —Michelle Green, People, 24 Sept. 2007 abbreviation ASD

called also pervasive developmental disorder

Comments on autism spectrum disorder

What made you want to look up autism spectrum disorder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!