What is Autism?
Autism Treatments, Symptoms and Diagnosis
If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism, or you are concerned about your child’s development you may like to learn more about the disorder and its symptoms, and possible autism treatment options.
Autism is a developmental disorder usually identified in children between the age of 2 to 4 years which affects communication, social interactions and can sometimes involve cognitive delays.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism and Asperger Syndrome are now included in an Autism Spectrum Disorder and this is also referred to as ASD.
An Autism Spectrum Disorder includes various levels of autism including mild (known as High Functioning Autism HFA), moderate and severe autism, as well as Pervasive Developmental Disorders PDD- NOS and Asperger Syndrome.
How an Autism Spectrum Disorder Affects Social Interactions
An Autism Spectrum Disorder will affect people in different ways although their difficulties will be in the same three areas.
Social Communication – interpreting social signs and body language, difficulty looking at someone while they speak
Social Interaction – misinterpreting jokes and social cues
Social Imagination – difficulty predicting others behaviour, engaging in imaginative play, coping with new situations.
They may also show signs of anxiety, lack motivation and have difficulty with attention and concentration. At times their responses to certain sensations and stimuli maybe unusual and they may have ritualistic behaviours.
How Autism Differs From Asperger Syndrome
High functioning autism (HFA), a mild form of autism, and Aspergers are now included in an ASD diagnosis. The main distinction between the two is in language and cognitive development.
Children with Asperger Syndrome usually display close to normal speech and cognitive development where as those with Autism display speech difficulties and can have intellectual disabilities that can range from mild to severe.
Autism can be difficult to diagnose, as it can often overlap with other conditions, but a paediatrician will take a detailed look at your child's development and current behaviours and social interactions and will refer them to Allied Health professionals to obtain more information.
To receive a diagnosis of autism your child would have to have impairments in social interaction, communication and ritualistic and stereotyped interests and behaviours.
Early intervention improves the chances of independence and language development, and at Baobab we can assist your child to achieve their full potential in all areas of development. We can address their coordination, sensory processing and social behavioural issues so that they have better strategies to cope with the everyday demands of life.