Autism was first diagnosed in the 1940s. It is a complex neurobiological disorder that affects brain development and lasts throughout a person’s life. It is a general term used to describe a group of developmental disorders that are often referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism presents itself in different and unique ways in each affected person requiring the use of the term spectrum.
“Spectrum” allows for individual differences among a group of people with the same diagnosis.