There used to be two diagnoses, autism and Asperger’s syndrome, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, version four (DSM-IV). Asperger’s syndrome was not included in the DSM-5, so everyone is now given an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with a level of one to three, depending on how much their behavior is affected.

Those with autism struggle with pragmatic language just like those who have social communication disorder (SCD), so they struggle to do inductive reasoning and empathy. They also have restricted or repetitive behavior, which those with SCD do not. Here’s the full diagnostic criteria for autism.

The lack of being able to do inductive reasoning or do it well is the cause of a lot of their behavior. Inductive reasoning is the ability to put details together to make meaning. For example, a person with severe inductive reasoning issues (IRI) will see your eyebrows rise and your eyes open wide when they say a certain thing, or crease lines between your eyebrows and your lips tighten when they say something else. They won’t be able to put those pieces of information together to make the meaning that you are surprised by what they said or mad in response to what they said. If they are less affected by IRI, they may understand when your feelings are stronger and have more body cues, and they may be able to connect your response to their behavior, but they won’t know what to do differently unless they are taught. They will miss the nuances that led up to the stronger feelings.

They tend to see all the details at the same level of meaning and with no connections. So they struggle to prioritize or organize information or tasks. They are often overwhelmed by the amount of information details that they are trying to manage.

I wrote a book explaining inductive reasoning issues (IRI) and how it can create forty different behaviors that were common to Asperger’s. This book will help you to view things from the perspective of those with IRI and give you ideas on how to help them or yourself if you have IRI. It also gives you information on additional health issues and diagnosis. And for psychotherapists it shares how to work with those who have IRI.

The statistics I heard in early 2016 were that one out of every 61 children is now being diagnosed with autism. That is astounding and very concerning to me. It is why I wrote Inside the Mind. We are all going to have to understand those with IRI and be able to help them for all of us to live well together.