Autism spectrum disorder and autism are terms used to refer to complication in the development of the brain, beginning in childhood.

The disorders are normally characterized by the difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication. Autism symptoms include the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interest.

Children with autism might have problems talking with you, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may spend a lot of time putting things in order before they can pay attention, or they may say the same sentence, again and again, to calm themselves down. They often seem to be in their "own world."because people with autism can have very different features or symptoms, health care providers think of autism as a "spectrum" disorder.

Manifestations of the Autistic disorder vary greatly depending on the developmental level and chronological age of the individual. The Autistic spectrum disorder is associated with difficulties in motor coordination, as well as physical health issues associated with sleep and gastrointestinal disturbance.

ICD 10 Codes for Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Statistics in the U.S indicate that 1 in 68 American children suffer from the condition. There is tenfold increase in Autistic children for the past 40 years, mostly prevalent in boys than girls.


The exact cause of autism is not known but the main reason for this common type of mental condition is gene mutation, as well as environmental factors that influence early brain development. Some of the other risk factors include parental age at the time of conception, maternal illness or difficulties during birth.

Autism lasts throughout a person's lifetime. There is no cure, but treatment can help. Treatments include behavior and communication therapies and medicines to control symptoms. Starting treatment as early as possible is important.

Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders ICD 10 Codes

Below are some of the most common Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder's ICD 10cm Codes that are required for Medical Coding and Billing after ICD 10 roll out:

F84.0 Childhood Autism

A type of pervasive developmental disorder that is defined by:
(a) The presence of abnormal or impaired development that is manifest before the age of three years, and (b) the characteristic type of abnormal functioning in all the three areas of psychopathology: reciprocal social interaction, communication, and restricted, stereotyped, repetitive behavior. In addition to these specific diagnostic features, a range of other nonspecific problems is common, such as phobias, sleeping and eating disturbances, temper tantrums, and (self-directed) aggression.

F84.1 Atypical Autism

A type of pervasive developmental disorder that differs from childhood autism either in the age of onset or in failing to fulfill all three sets of diagnostic criteria. This subcategory should be used when there is abnormal and impaired development that is present only after age three years, and a lack of sufficient demonstrable abnormalities in one or two of the three areas of psychopathology required for the diagnosis of autism (namely, reciprocal social interactions, communication, and restricted, stereotyped, repetitive behavior) in spite of characteristic abnormalities in the other area(s). Atypical autism arises most often in profoundly retarded individuals and in individuals with a severe specific developmental disorder of receptive language.

299.00 Autistic Disorder

ICD-10 code 299.00 is used to define autistic disorder with various characteristic. The code further characterizes autistic disorder into:

A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2) and (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3):
  1. Qualitative Impairment in Social Interaction as manifested by at least two of the following:
    1. Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviours such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction.
    2. Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level.
    3. A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest).
    4. Lack of social or emotional reciprocity.
  2. Qualitative Impairments in Communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
    1. Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gestures or mime).
    2. In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.
    3. Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language.
    4. Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.
  3. Restricted Repetitive and Stereotyped Patterns of Behaviour, Interests and Activities as manifested by at least one of the following:
    1. Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.
    2. Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, non-functional routines or rituals.
    3. Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole body movements).
    4. Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:
(1) social interaction, (2) language as used in social communication or (3) symbolic or imaginative play

The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

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