Pleasanton Independent School District

Atascosa McMullen Cooperative » Autism


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by a unique set of intense and pervasive impairments in the areas of social interaction, communication and behavior skills. Approximately 26,000 children in Texas are diagnosed with ASD at this time. Autism Disorders vary widely and the needs of students with autism are determined on an individual basis.

The DSM-IV-TR lists characteristics of ASD that include:
  • Difficulty understanding and utilizing facial expressions, body language, eye contact, and gestures to regulate social situations
  • Failure to develop peer relationships
  • Lack of shared enjoyment, interests or other's attention (joint attention)
  • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
  • Delayed language or total lack of language skills
  • Stereotyped or repetitive use of language
  • Lack of spontaneous, make-believe and social imitative play
  • Preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest or focus
  • Inflexible adherence to routines and rituals
  • Repetitive motor movements and mannerisms (hand flapping or rocking)
  • Preoccupation with parts of objects