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Atypical autism is often described as a subthreshold diagnosis, presenting with some symptoms of autism but insufficient to meet criteria for a diagnosis of childhood autism (or autistic disorder). Alternatively, atypical autism can be diagnosed when there is a late onset of symptomatology. Atypical autism (as defined by ICD-10) is seen as being equivalent to the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD NOS). DSM-5 does not have a separate diagnostic category for PDD NOS.
Like PDD NOS, atypical autism is poorly defined, resulting in a research literature that can be difficult to interpret and conclusions difficult to reach. Atypical autism, as defined by the ICD, lacks operationalized diagnostic criteria, resulting in inconsistencies and variability in the way in which the diagnosis is applied. Although it now appears to be more common than autistic disorder, in general it remains poorly understood....
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