Autism is a developmental disorder that appears early in life. Autism involves impairments in the development of:

  • Non-verbal and verbal communication
  • Social interaction or play
  • Normal behaviour patterns (such as the tendency to repeat certain behaviours or interests)

What are common behaviours associated with Autism? 


  • Echoing speech made by others
  • Repetitive language
  • Unusual use of language

Social interaction

  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulties interacting with peers
  • Difficulties understanding or emphasizing with others’ point of views


  • Narrow range of interests
  • Unusual interest in particular objects
  • Repetitive/self stimulatory behaviour


  • Highly reactive to sensory stimulation (i.e. sight, smell, sounds, touch or taste)


  • 70 – 80% of people who are diagnosed with autism also have developmental delays

How is Autism Diagnosed?

A psychologist or physician with experience and understanding of autism can make a clinical diagnosis of autism, based on assessments of the child’s abilities in several areas of development.