This article provides a selective review of advances in scientific knowledge about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), using DSM-5 (, fifth edition) diagnostic criteria as a framework for the discussion. We review literature that prompted changes to the organization of ASD symptoms and diagnostic subtypes in DSM-IV, and we examine the rationale for new DSM-5 specifiers, modifiers, and severity ratings as well as the introduction of the diagnosis of social (pragmatic) communication disorder. Our goal is to summarize and critically consider the contribution of clinical psychology research, along with that of other disciplines, to the current conceptualization of ASD.


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