ABA ICD-10 Codes

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Your ABA ICD-10 Codes Cheat Sheet

As a healthcare professional, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the most common ICD-10 codes for autism. This will ensure fair reimbursement policies and help you identify patients who are in need of immediate disease management assistance.  

What Are ICD-10 Codes?

ABA ICD-10 Common Codes

The International Classification of Diseases tenth revision is a system that contains codes for various diseases, signs, symptoms, and abnormal findings. External causes for these conditions are taken into account.  

ICD-10 Codes are primarily used for insurance purposes. They also provide valuable data when it comes to improving healthcare for patients because they allow clinicians to form a better understanding of various complex diseases.  

The Most Common ICD-10 Codes for Autism

Common ICD-10 Codes for Autism WebABA

It’s important to know what each ICD-10 code means. You’ll likely be able to give your clients a better deal on insurance as a result, and you’ll understand how to treat your clients in the most effective manner.  

F84.0: Autistic Spectrum Disorder 

This code is applicable to infantile autismautism spectrum disorder, Kanner’s syndrome, and infantile psychosis.  

Symptoms of Infantile Autism (Social Skills) 

  • Doesn’t maintain eye contact  
  • Doesn’t have appropriate facial expressions  
  • Doesn’t show empathy for others  
  • Doesn’t respond to their parent’s facial expressions  
  • Doesn’t look at objects or events a parent is looking at or pointing to  
  • Is unable to perceive what others might be thinking or feeling by observing their facial expressions  
  • Unable to make friends or uninterested in making friends  


Symptoms of Infantile Autism (Communication)

  • Doesn’t say single words when they’re sixteen months old  
  • Repeats people verbatim without understanding the meaning of the words  
  • Doesn’t point at things to show their needs or share things with others  
  • Doesn’t respond to their name being called but does respond to other sounds  
  • Mixes up their pronouns  
  • Doesn’t appear to have a desire to communicate  
  • Doesn’t start or continue a conversation  
  • Has a good rote memory (in some cases)  
  • Loses language or other social milestones between the ages of 15 to 24 months (in some cases)  
  • Doesn’t use toys or other objects to represent people or real life in pretend play  


Symptoms of Infantile Autism (Behavior)

  • Rocks, spins, and twirls fingers  
  • Flaps their hands or walks on their toes for a long time  
  • Likes routines, order, and rituals and has difficulty with change  
  • Obsessed with a few unusual activities and continues to engage in those over and over again every day  
  • Doesn’t seem to feel pain  
  • Looks at objects from unusual angles  
  • May be very sensitive to lights, sounds, smells, textures, and touch  
  • May not be sensitive to sounds, lights, textures, and touch  

Kanner’s Syndrome

Kanner’s syndrome is a form of autism that causes individuals to wish for a great deal of repetitiveness in their daily routines. It also causes muteness or speech abnormality. These individuals have amazing visuospatial skills, but they have learning difficulties in many other areas. When someone has been diagnosed with this disorder, they struggle with a variety of symptoms when it comes to communication and behavior.  

Symptoms of Kanner’s Syndrome
  • An intense wish for repetitive routines  
  • Muteness or abnormality of speech  
  • A fascination with manipulating objects  
  • A profound lack of emotional connection with others  
  • The inability to understand when they’ve hurt someone’s feelings  
  • Extraordinary visuo-spatial skills  
  • Attractive, alert, and intelligent appearance  
  • Major learning difficulties in many areas  


Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Communication)   

  • Difficulty learning  
  • Trouble communicating  
  • Below average intelligence (in some cases)  
  • Difficulty socializing  
  • Repetitive movements  
  • Failure to respond to their name  
  • Aggressive behavior  
  • Disruptive behavior  
  • Passive behavior  
  • Doesn’t express emotions  
  • Appears to be unaware of other peoples’ feelings  
  • Resists cuddling and holding  
  • Prefers to be alone  
  • Doesn’t speak  
  • Has delayed speech  
  • Doesn’t seem to understand simple questions or directions  
  • Repeats words and phrases verbatim without understanding how to use them  
  • Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm  
  • Does not maintain eye contact  
  • Has no facial expression 
  • Does point at objects or bring them to people  
  • Has difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues   


Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Behavioral Patterns)

  • Performs repetitive movements (hand flapping, rocking, or spinning)  
  • Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed by slight changes  
  • Performs activities that could cause self-harm, such as head-banging or biting  
  • Has problems with coordination  
  • Has odd movement patterns such as clumsiness or constant tiptoeing  
  • Has odd, still, or exaggerated body language  
  • Doesn’t engage in imitative or make-believe play  
  • Is unusually sensitive to light, sound, or touch  
  • May be indifferent to pain or temperature  
  • Is fascinated by the details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car  
  • Fixates on an object or activity with unusually high focus and intensity  


F84.2: Rett’s Syndrome

Rett’s syndrome is extremely rare, and it occurs almost exclusively in girls. The most common symptom is constant and repetitive hand movements. This disorder also affects a person’s ability to walk, eat. In some cases, it also affects their capacity to breathe. 

Symptoms of Rett’s Syndrome

  • Loss of normal movement and coordination  
  • Slowed growth  
  • Loss of communication abilities  
  • Abnormal hand movements  
  • Unusual eye movements  
  • Breathing problems  
  • Irritability and crying  
  • Odd facial expressions  
  • Long bouts of laughter  
  • Hand licking  
  • Grasping of hair or clothing  
  • Seizures  
  • Cognitive disabilities  
  • Scoliosis  
  • Irregular heartbeat  
  • Irregular sleeping patterns  
  • Waking up crying or screaming in the middle of the night  


F84.3: Other Childhood Disintegrative Disorders 

This code can be applicable to several conditions, including dementia, disintegrative psychosis, symbiotic psychosis, and Heller’s Syndrome. It is only suitable for individuals who are 0 to 17 years of age.  

Heller’s Syndrome

Heller’s Syndrome is a vicious and regressive form of autism. It affects about every one or two children out of one hundred thousand. This condition causes developmental delays in language, social function, and motor skills.  

Symptom’s of Heller’s Syndrome 
  • Regression in social skills  
  • Regression in play skills  
  • Regression in motor skills  Regression in language skills  Cognitive regression  Regression in toilet training  

F84.5: Asperger’s Syndrome 

The F84.5 code is applicable to asperger’s syndrome only. This neurodevelopmental condition causes a person to experience extreme challenges when engaging in nonverbal communication and social activities. Individuals with this disorder often behave in a very repetitive manner.  

Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome  
  • An increased ability to focus on details  
  • The ability to work independently  
  • Recognizing patterns that others usually don’t  
  • Thinking in a unique and original way  
  • The capacity to persevere in specific interests without being swayed by other peoples’ opinions  
  • Intensity  

F84.9: Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Unspecified)

This ICD-10 code can be used to specify conditions such as active but odd autism, pervasive developmental disorder of a residual state, autism spectrum disorder, and savant syndrome. Individuals with active but odd autism approach others, but they do so in a naive, peculiar, and one-sided manner. They will often want to speak about their own interests without asking the other person questions. It appears as though they’re not actually looking for a reciprocal interaction.  

However, they usually have much larger vocabularies and are much better at communicating verbally than other people who have been diagnosed with autism. Although their speech is better, it may still be delayed and not completed in a normal manner. For instance, these individuals may speak in long and complex sentences that they’ve memorized because they were listening to someone else.  

Symptoms of Individuals with Active but Odd Autism

  • Clumsiness  
  • Poor coordination  
  • High level of general functioning  
  • High I.Q. scores  
  • Asking lots of questions which can be seen as pestering  
  • Temper tantrums  
  • Aggression  
  • Poor motor coordination  
  • The ability to construct extremely repetitive imaginary scenarios and identities  

Savant Syndrome

It’s important to note that not all people with savant syndrome are autistic. However, about 50% of the individuals who have this condition have been diagnosed with autism.   

Symptoms of Savant Syndrome  

  • Exceptional abilities, particularly in music, visual arts, and mathematics  
  • Extraordinary memory  
  • The ability to calculate what day of the week a certain date fell on or will fall on  


As a healthcare professional, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the most common ICD-10 codes for autism. This will ensure fair reimbursement policies and help you identify patients who are in need of immediate disease management assistance.  

3 Steps for Selecting the Correct ICD-10 Codes

ABA ICD-10 Codes

As a healthcare professional, it’s important to spend your time selecting the correct codes, so that everything will go as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to memorize around seventy-thousand. You’ll have to look them up to ensure accuracy.  

1. Find the Condition in the Alphabetic Index

You’ll want to begin your search by looking for the main term in the alphabetic index. After you achieve this, you’ll want to find the most specific code available for your client’s condition.  

2. Verify the Code and be as Specific as Possible  

You’ll need to verify the code in the tabular index. Then, you’ll want to search for the severity of your client’s condition and any complications that may lead you to change your selection.  

3. Review the Chapter Specific Coding Guidelines

These guidelines can be found before the alphabetic index of the ICD-10 manual. It is essential to consult this particular section so that you do not neglect important sequencing guidelines.  

It’s of the utmost importance to understand each of the common ICD-10 codes for autism. This will help you serve your clientele more effectively.  

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