Table 1: Components of state education agency autism definitions.

Definition componentNumber of statesPercentage

Social interaction impairment—general statement4690
 Impaired nonverbal social1529
 Lack of peer relationships2141
 Lack of spontaneous joint attention1427
 Lack of social-emotional reciprocity1835
Communication impairment—general statement4690
 Impaired development of spoken language1937
 Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation1733
 Stereotyped and repetitive use of language1733
 Lack of spontaneous make-believe or social imitative play1529
Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped behaviors and interests—general statement24
 Preoccupation with stereotyped interests4996
 Nonfunctional routines or rituals5098
 Stereotyped and repetitive mannerisms4996
 Preoccupation with parts of objects1733
Other components
 Onset prior to the age of three 4792
 Unusual sensory experiences4486
 Exclusion conditions4588
  Emotional disturbance4486
  Intellectual/developmental delay36
  Pervasive developmental disorder12
  Rett’s disorder or childhood disintegrative disorder12
  Schizophrenia12
  Visual or hearing impairments12
  Coexisting conditions allowed36