“Autistic-like traits”

“There is evidence that the discrete boundaries imposed by DSM and ICD-10 are not always respected by the conditions described. For instance Gillberg (1983) wondered whether a ‘common biochemical disturbance’ may cause ASC in young males and anorexia nervosa in young girls, and recently evidence has been found of weak central coherence in anorexia (C. Lopez et al., 2008; Southgate, Tchanturia, & Treasure, In press). Depression is often comorbid with autism (e.g., Ghaziuddin, Ghaziuddin, & Greden, 2002). DSM warns clinicians not to confuse Schizophrenia and Asperger Disorder as aspects of the conditions are quite similar. Given this overlap between conditions, it is unavoidable for measures of ‘autistic’ traits to detect traits associated with conditions other than ASC. […] There seems to be no shortage of continuums, overlapping and distinct, within and between typical and atypical development and clinical and non-clinical conditions of existence.”

“… I would argue in favour of defence of the label ‘autistic-like traits’ as merely shorthand for the class of traits which are of relevance to a study of ASC, so long as it is emphasised that there is overlap between conditions, for instance between ASC, psychosis, and anorexia. As more is known about the purer dimensions of importance, then it becomes easier to move instead towards discussion of these.”

(From here.)