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
- 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.