Understanding Mental Health series. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a term used to describe a group of developmental disorders that include autism, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, and others. Many people with these disorders struggle with social interaction and communication. This informative book provides insight into how people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder experience the world around them and promotes understanding and acceptance. A chapter for friends and family discusses how to handle autism spectrum disorder and its effects on siblings and relatives. Grade 5-8.