What Are The 3 Levels of Autism

What Are The 3 Levels of Autism


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex condition that manifests in many ways, primarily affecting a child’s social interactions, communication skills, and behavior patterns. Previously, terms like Asperger’s Syndrome and Autistic Disorder were commonly used to describe different manifestations of autism. However, these classifications have evolved with the latest edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which introduces a more nuanced framework. 

This framework categorizes autism severity levels based on the kids’ challenges and the extent of support they require. This new classification helps clinicians make more accurate diagnosis on different levels of autism and also better illustrates where an individual might stand on the autism spectrum. By understanding these levels, we can tailor our approach to meet each person's unique needs, fostering a more supportive environment for their growth and development.

With this understanding, let's delve deeper into what each level entails and how it shapes the type of care and intervention that might be most effective for individuals living with ASD. This understanding will not only clarify the specific challenges faced at each level but also highlight the potential pathways for support and accommodation necessary to improve their daily functioning and overall quality of life.

1. Requiring Support

At the mildest end of the spectrum, Level 1 ASD involves challenges that are noticeable yet relatively mild. Children at this level typically encounter some difficulties in understanding and responding to social cues, which can make maintaining conversations challenging. Despite these social communication hurdles, the support needed is minimal. Behavioral issues may include trouble transitioning between tasks and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviours. These children can often manage daily activities but might struggle in socially demanding situations.

2. Requiring Substantial Support

Moving to a more severe degree of difficulty, Level 2 ASD is characterized by significant challenges in both social communication and behavior. Children with Level 2 autism find it notably hard to initiate and respond appropriately in social interactions, often requiring substantial support even with structured interventions. 

Their verbal communication might be limited, relying on simpler words and sentence structures. Behaviourally, these children display restricted interests and show visible inflexibility, which can include a persistent adherence to routines and a struggle to maintain eye contact, further complicating their social interactions.

3. Requiring Very Substantial Support

At the most severe end of the spectrum, Level 3 ASD requires extensive support and intervention. Social communication is markedly impaired, with children showing extremely limited ability to interact. In some cases, there might be significant challenges with verbal communication, making it difficult for them to express their needs or engage with others effectively. 

Behavioral challenges are profound at this level, with restrictive and repetitive behaviours severely impacting daily functioning. These children often find it extremely challenging to cope with unexpected changes, and their sensory processing issues can be particularly intense, necessitating a highly structured environment and substantial ongoing support.


The classification into—requiring support, substantial support, and very substantial support—provides a clearer framework for understanding the complexities of autism spectrum disorder levels. Recognizing the specific autism severity levels helps tailor the necessary interventions and support. While navigating these challenges, natural and supportive remedies can play a vital role in managing symptoms. 

Nisarga Herbs' Ayurvedic Brain Syrup, might help in promoting cognitive health and easing some of the behavioural challenges associated with ASD. This syrup is formulated to help enhance brain health in children, offering a natural, side-effect-free method to improve focus and cognitive functions.

Adding this syrup to your child's daily routine could complement the tailored support strategies derived from understanding the different levels of autism spectrum disorder, fostering a comprehensive approach to support their growth and learning. As with any health condition, it’s important to consult healthcare providers to determine the best approach tailored to individual needs.

doctor image

Dr. Arati Soman

Dr. Arati Soman is a seasoned Ayurvedic physician and Head Formulator at Nisarga Herbs. Driven by a deep passion for Ayurveda and vast expertise, she has been instrumental in formulating medicines, diagnostic procedures, and innovative Ayurvedic treatments that are trusted globally.