What is the Autism Spectrum Anyway?

Brittany Luckham
6 min readApr 13, 2023

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Advocating for autism acceptance begins with sharing knowledge and educating those who want to know more. As someone who, herself, had to start from scratch after being diagnosed I know it’s best to start with the basics: what is autism and how does it present itself.

Photo by Cottonbro Studio


I’m going to start with the medical definition as it is described in the DSM-V.

According to the DSM-V, Autism is categorized as:

  1. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
  2. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
  3. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life).
  4. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
  5. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability or global developmental delay. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of…



Brittany Luckham

Brittany, owner of NOTOLUX, writes about books, Autism, and life in general. https://linktr.ee/NOTOLUX