A child drawing the autism heart.

Common Types of Autism

At Blue Parachute, our goal is to help children and adults on the autism spectrum, along with their parents and teachers, to have access to online videos that can teach them various necessary skills. From learning skills to communication skills to life skills and more, there are many skills that people learn as they are growing up. To many, these skills might be considered easy or “a given.” However, to a person with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), this may not be the case. Autism is a spectrum, making it hard to say there are common types of autism.

You might meet someone who has been diagnosed as on the spectrum, and you then might meet another person with the same diagnosis. These people, however, are just as diverse as everyone else.

Better Understanding Autism 

At Blue Parachute, we know that many people need help understanding autism spectrum disorder, including teachers, parents, and children on the spectrum. We also are aware of the many communities affected by autism and how there are locations without resources.

If you are the parent, guardian, or teacher of a child who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, reach out to us for access to our autism home services. These are provided through videos available from Blue Parachute that were all created by our team of dedicated Licensed and Certified Behavior Therapists.

Before you get started with our helpful videos, we suggest you continue reading. Below we provide a brief explanation of how autism was previously defined, in addition to how it is described today, and we also include some information on what autism can entail.

The Introduction of Autism as a Diagnosis

Over the past 80 years, we have seen an evolution in autism. This began in 1943 when autism was described in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) after first being identified by Austrian-American psychiatrist and physician Dr. Leo Kanner. Over 40 years later, in 1987, a later version of DSM, referred to as DSM-III, included altered criteria for what was considered autism. In addition to the previous findings, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) was added. This was considered a less severe form of autism, putting it on the mild end of the spectrum.

Another major change in the history of autism happened In 1994. At this time, DSM-IV was released. However, when it was revised and republished in 2000, this was the first time that autism was categorized as a spectrum. Additionally, those in charge of the DSM publication categorized parts of the autism spectrum by naming five conditions.

The first of these conditions were general autism and PDD-NOS, which had both been included since 1987. They now added Asperger’s Disorder, another mild form of autism, and childhood disintegrative disorder, or CDD. The fifth category added was Rett Syndrome, a condition that affects communication and movement, though it is mostly found in females.

The most recent change to autism diagnoses was in 2013, with the release of the fifth edition of the DSM – the DSM-V. This was when any form of autism was referred to as autism spectrum disorder. Two feature groups are part of such a diagnosis. From the DSM-V:

  1. “Persistent impairment in reciprocal social communication and social interaction.”
  2. “Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.”

Though doctors no longer use descriptors such as Asperger’s or CDD, some individuals who were previously diagnosed with these specific terms for autism choose to consider identifying their conditions as such.

With a better understanding of the evolution of autism, below we describe how some of these autism conditions present themselves.

A Diagnosis of Autism 

As autism was the first way that this condition was identified, saying that someone “has autism,” “on the autism spectrum,” or “they are autistic” are terms frequently used to describe those exemplifying the most severe or noticeable autism traits. Children and adults with this condition are prone to particular behaviors that parents with a child on the spectrum may easily identify.

The most common symptoms include a very rigid and “to-the-point” demeanor in conversation, repetitive actions including speech, acting withdrawn or distant, and in extreme cases, evidence of self-harm. Identifying that someone is on the spectrum when they are younger can assist in ensuring they live a fulfilled and happy life.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

One of the first identifiers of different types of autism was seen as delays in the development of social and communicative skills. This is a common stereotype of people on the autism spectrum. Usually, these traits are identified as a result of pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Language difficulties, relating to others, and difficulty with changing schedules are behaviors to keep an eye out for if you believe your child may be exhibiting signs of this condition. 

Asperger’s Syndrome

Though many studies about the autism spectrum have been done, and they are continuing to study this condition, the causes of autism are still unknown. What was once referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome will often be noticed by common behaviors in children.

Like other original classifications of autism spectrum disorders, there could be an abundance of social difficulties that can result in less emphasis placed on physical symptoms. Those who were previously diagnosed as having Asperger’s might have difficulty understanding emotions, poor or minimal social interactions, focusing on themselves or a specific topic in conversation, intense obsession with a few topics, and emotional management difficulties.

There are many different forms of autism spectrum therapies available for many of the various disorders identified on the spectrum.

Blue Parachute Is Here to Help

With your new understanding of autism spectrum disorder, we know that if you are looking for assistance in teaching someone with ASD, Blue Parachute can help. We have made access to our videos affordable by offering different levels of subscription pricing.

Click here and sign up now to take full advantage of our library of high-quality, evidence-based resources to help individuals with ASD be set up for success and reach their full potential. Blue Parachute. Easy. Affordable. Life-Changing.


1 – Spectrum | Autism Research News – The Evolution of Autism as a Diagnosis Explained