Autism disorder and Asperger’s disorder

Autism disorder and Asperger’s disorder

The most common pervasive developmental disorders tend to fall into one of two categories: autism disorder and Asperger’s disorder.

Watch the fifteen-minute online video Autism’s Causes: How Close Are We to Solving the Puzzle on autism, which was aired on the PBS NewsHour’s show on April 20, 2011. You may also opt to read the transcript or listen to the audio available on the same web page.

Review the information presented in the video and complete the required readings for this week. Submit a 3- to 4-page paper and respond to the following:

  • Take a position on the current debate about whether Asperger’s disorder is a type of autism? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) moved Asperger’s disorder into the autism category and addressed it as a mild form of autism. There are many critics of this change to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) which places the two diagnoses in separate categories, indicating that Asperger’s disorder is not a form of autism (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
  • Decide whether you believe that Asperger’s disorder is a high-functioning (mild) form of autism or it belongs in its own category as a disorder separate from autism? Support your decision with information from academic sources.

Recommended sources include the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) NewsHour video, your textbook, the articles mentioned in this week’s readings, and the website of BehaveNet with links to the diagnostic criteria for each of the DSM-IV-TR diagnoses.

Apply APA standards to citation of sources, including use of in-text citations and full references.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
 (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishers.

PBS NewsHour. (Producer). (2011, April 20). Autism’s causes: How close are
we to solving the puzzle?
 [Video]. Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting
System. Retrieved from