The fifth edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) introduced significant changes in the classification of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including the abolition of the diagnostic subcategories proposed by DSM-IV-Text Revision. DSM-5 describes three levels of increasing severity of ASD. The authors report two explanatory cases with ASD (verbal boys, aged about 7 and a half years, without intellectual disability). According to DSM-5, both cases fall into the lowest severity level of ASD. However, their neuropsychological and neurobehavioral profile varies significantly. While the first boy showed a prevalent impairment of visuoconstructional and visuoperceptual abilities, the second one presented a predominant involvement of verbal functions, with qualitative impairments in communication. A further step forward in the definition and classification of ASD, taking into account both intensity and quality of symptoms, is recommended in order to formulate a reliable prognosis, plan an individualized treatment and monitor the clinical course over time.
- autism spectrum disorders
- diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 5 <sup>th</sup> edition
- diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-IV-Text Revision
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health