What are the Different Levels of Autism?

You may ask what are the different levels of Autism? Autism is a neurological condition that impacts how someone perceives the world and interacts with others.  According to DSM-5 (the manual used for diagnosing mental disorders), there are three levels of ASD depending on a person’s support needs for social communication and limited repetitive behavior.

Different Levels of Autism


Level 1 ASD:

man with level 1 autism

An individual with Level 1 ASD may experience difficulty initiating or maintaining conversations, understanding social cues, or adapting to change, as well as require some form of assistance in organizing their activities and controlling emotions.

Level 2 ASD:

Level 2 ASD requires considerable support. People diagnosed with ASD at this level often have more limited verbal skills, difficulty with nonverbal communication, and more noticeable repetitive behaviors that need guidance in social situations and daily routines.

Level 3 ASD:

Level 3 ASD requires very substantial support. People diagnosed with level 3 ASD typically exhibit minimal or no verbal communication. Thus, they face severe difficulties with nonverbal communication, and restricted interests and behaviors. As well as needing continuous supervision to ensure their well-being and safety.

These levels are not fixed or permanent and an individual may exhibit different degrees in different domains. For instance, having level 1 ASD for social communication while level 2 for repetitive/restricted behaviors is entirely possible. 

Clinicians and caregivers use the levels of autism as guides to provide appropriate interventions and support services to each individual.