Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a complex developmental disability that often appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD affects over 70,000 individuals in Ontario or an incidence of 1 in 165.
|Autism is treatable. Early intervention is critical. Parents should ask their child’s family doctor for a referral to a developmental paediatrician for assessment if there are concerns.|
Autism affects the typical development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with autism often have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social inter-actions, and leisure or play activities. They find it hard to communicate with others and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behaviour may be present. Persons with autism may exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking), unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. Individuals may also experience sensitivities in sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.
Warning Signs of Autism in Early Childhood
|Communication Red Flags||Behavioural Red Flags||Social Red Flags|
Autism is a spectrum disorder. The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide range from mild to severe. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviours; children and adults can exhibit any combination of the behaviours in any degree of severity. Two children, both with the same diagnosis, can act very differently from one another and have varying skills.
There is no “typical” person with autism. Parents may hear different terms used to describe children such as autistic tendencies, autism spectrum, high-functioning or low-functioning autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Whatever the diagnosis, children can learn and function productively and show gains from appropriate education and treatment.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the general category of disorders, which are characterized by severe andpervasive impairment in several areas of development. Children who fall under the ASD category show similarities in lack of communication and social skills, but are different in terms of severity, number of symptoms or age of onset. Some differences are listed below.
Types of Autism
Autistic Disorder - Impairments in social interaction, communication, and imaginative play prior to age 3 years. Stereotyped behaviours, interests and activities
Asperger’s Disorder - Impairments in social skills and restricted interests and activities, with no significant delay in language, and in the range of average to above average intelligence
Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified - A diagnosis of PDD may be made when a child does not meet the criteria for a specific diagnosis, but there is a severe impairment in specified behaviours.
Rett’s Disorder - A progressive disorder which, to date, has occurred only in girls. They have a period of normal development and then lose previously acquired skills, as well as normal use of the hands and repetitive hand movements beginning at the age of 1-4 years
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder - Characterized by normal development for at least the first 2 years, followed by significant loss of previously acquired skills.
|Links or Useful Resources for AUTISM:
Autism Ontario - www.autismontario.com search to find your local chapter
Autism Web - www.autismweb.com
Autism Society of America - www.autism-society.org
Child & Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) – 1-519-858-2774 or www.cpri.ca
Developmental Services Access Centre (DSAC) - www.dscwr.com or call 519-741-1121
Geneva Centre for Autism - www.autism.net
KidsAbility Centre For Child Development - www.kidsability.ca - 519-886-8886
Erinoak - www.erinoakkids.ca
Interesting Article: “The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know“http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/16-03/ff_autism?currentPage=1
Autism Spectrum Connection - www.autismspectrumconnection.com