What is Autism?

Autism in a Neuro-developmental condition, it can affect the way that individuals communicate and understand the world Socially and emotionally.

Autism has many varieties as the autistic spectrum is wide, some conditions of autism are Asperger Syndrome, Pathological Demand Avoidance which is sometimes known as Conduct Disorder and High Functioning Autism. However, there are lots of other Autistic disorders which relate to the condition.

In recent years, the diagnosis stage has changed, and many children on the spectrum are being diagnosed under the umbrella term ‘Autism’, but may have CD, PDA or asperger’s or a combination.

It is not unusual for children on the spectrum to also have a co-diagnosis or co-morbid condition such as OCD, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia or other learning difficulties.

Autism symptoms can be extremely individual and can vary in gender and ages but the professionals use a measuring system called the ‘triad of impairment’ to gauge if there is enough to suggest diagnosis.

Areas which are looked at in the Triad of Impairment

  • not drawing their parents’ or others’ attention to objects or events, for example pointing at a toy or a book, or at something that is happening nearby (or a child may eventually do this, but later than expected)
  • carrying out activities in a repetitive way, for example always playing the same game in the same way, or repeatedly lining toys up in a particular order
  • resistance to change or doing things differently
  • emerging difficulties with social interaction, social communication and social imagination. These are the three main areas of difficulty experienced by all people with ASD and are sometimes called the ‘triad of impairments’
  • behaviour such as biting, pinching, kicking, pica (putting inedible items in the mouth), or self-injurious behaviour

These are guidelines that professional use but not essential for a diagnosis of Austism Spectrum Disorder.

For further advice please follow the link to The National Autistic Society

Autistic Spectrum Disorder_NHS