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In medicine, a disorder is defined as a functional abnormality or disturbance.

Medical disorders are sometimes categorised into mental disorders, physical disorders, genetic disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, and functional disorders.

There are several sub-types of autism described as disorders including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive development disorder (not otherwise specified).  Asperger syndrome is sometimes called Asperger's disorder.

However many people on the autism spectrum reject the idea that autism is a disorder and see it as a neurological difference.

There are numerous other disorders which are sometimes associated with autism including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, affective and mood disorders (such as anxiety and depression), and sensory processing disorder.

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About This Glossary

This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.