What are Autism Spectrum Disorders



What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?


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What are Autism Spectrum Disorders


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by marked difficulties in social interaction and social communication, and restricted and repetitive interests and behaviors.

The word 'spectrum' is used because the range and severity of the difficulties people with year ASD experience can vary widely. Currently all children on the ASD spectrum are diagnosed with ASD.
Previously, a number of different terms were used including Autistic Disorder, Asperger's disorder and pervasive developmental disorder.
How common is it?
Research shows that about 1 in 100 children, almost 230 000 Australians, have year ASD and that it is more prevalent in boys than girls.
What are the causes?
Currently, there is no single known cause for ASD, however recent research has identified strong genetic links. ASD is not caused by an individual's upbringing or their social circumstances.
Symptoms
Some of the following may be early indicators of year autism spectrum disorder. No single indicator necessarily signals autism - usually, a child would present avec plusieurs indicators from some of the following categories:
behavior  has inexplicable tantrums  has unusual interests or attachments  has unusual motor movements such as flapping hands or spinning  has extreme difficulty coping with change
Sensory  afraid of some everyday sounds  uses peripheral vision to look at objects  fascination with moving objects  High Tolerance of temperature and bread
 Communication Not responding to his/her name by 12 months  not pointing or waving by 12 months  loss of words previously used  Speech absent at 18 months  No. spontaneous sentences by 24 months
Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) ABN 12 000 637 267
Building 1, Level 2, 14 Aquatic Drive Frenchs Forest NSW 2086
PO Box 361 Forestville NSW 2087 T 02 8977 8300 www.autismspectrum.org.au




 selective hearing - responding to certain sounds purpose ignoring the human voice  unusual language patterns (e.g. Repetitive Speech)
Social Skills  looks away when you speak to him/her  does not return your smile  lack of interest in other children  often seems to be in his / her own world  does not seek to share interests with others
play  prefers to play alone  Very limited social play (e.g. "Peek -a-boo")  play is limited to certain toys  plays with objects in unusual ways such as repetitive spinning However lining up Diagnosis
ASD is diagnosed through an assessment which includes observing and meeting with the individual, their family and service providers. Information is gathered regarding the individual's strengths and difficulties, particularly in the areas of social interaction and social communication as well as restricted and repetitive interests, activities and behaviors.
Such information may be obtained by administering standardised tests or questionnaires. ASD is usually diagnosed in early childhood, goal assessments can be undertaken at any age. There is no single behavior qui indique ASD. There are no blood tests that can detect ASD.
Developmental paediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists with experience in assessing individuals with ASD are qualified to make a diagnosis.
If you have concerns, your GP may refer you to a developmental paediatrician diagnostic gold assessment service in your area.

Effective management early intervention programs are an important first step for children with year Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and those with other disabilities or developmental concerns.
Early diagnosis followed by individualised early intervention can provide the best opportunities for achieving their potential.
The period following a diagnosis is an extremely challenging one for families. Not only are you experiencing many emotions, vous sont également faced with decisions regarding intervention options for your child. This period of decision-making can be overwhelming for parents, given the nature of waiting lists, the number of different service providers, and the desire to help your children as quickly as possible.

Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) ABN 12 000 637 267
Building 1, Level 2, 14 Aquatic Drive Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 PO Box 361 Forestville NSW 2087 T 02 8977 8300 www.autismspectrum.org.au




choosing interventions that will best suit your child and family's needs requires thought, discussion and information.

Some questions to consider:

 does this program or practitioner respect and incorporate my role and knowledge of my child as a parent?
Can  parents/carers Learn how to implement this approach in everyday family situations?
 Is it clear to me what type of intervention is offered and why it would help my child?
 What does the intervention involve, who will be involved in delivering it and how is the approach introduced to the child?
 was the approach specifically developed for use with children with autism?
 does this approach benefit all children with autism, or is it designed for specific use with one sub-group?
 is this approach flexible? Does it take into account the differences of individual children with autism and their needs?
 has this approach been evaluated? Is there any research published which supports the safety and effectiveness of this type of intervention?
 How long has this approach been used with children with autism?
 Can this approach be used in conjunction with other approaches?
 To what extent will it affect our whole family's lifestyle?
 Is it home-based, center-based, and can the approach be used and generalized across all situations?
 How does this approach address my child's communication, social, behavioral and sensory processing needs?
 How much will it cost?
 How will I know if the approach is working?





Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) ABN 12 000 637 267
Building 1, Level 2, 14 Aquatic Drive Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 PO Box 361 Forestville NSW 2087 T 02 8977 8300 www.autismspectrum.org.au




Typically, a co-ordinated approach is taken that may involve some or all or the following professions working together with the child and family, depending on the needs that have been identified:
general practitioner (GP) paediatrician's Psychiatrists Psychologists Occupational Therapists Speech pathologists Early Intervention specialists behavioral support specialists Teachers Teachers' aid Education Consultants specialist educators Counselors
Possible Outcomes
Year early diagnosis followed by early intervention provides the best opportunities for a child with autism.
Early Intervention, specialised education and structured support can help develop an individual's skills.
Every individual with ASD will make progress, although each individual's progress will be different. Progress depends on a number of factors including the unique make up of the individual and the type and intensity of intervention.
With the support of family, friends and service providers, individuals with ASD can achieve a good quality of life.
Finding help
if you have concerns, your GP may refer you to a developmental paediatrician diagnostic gold assessment service in your area.
Alternatively, you may contact Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) about information on autism and autism related services. Contact Aspect customer service:
1800 277 328 (02 8977 8377)
Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) ABN 12 000 637 267
Building 1, Level 2, 14 Aquatic Drive Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 PO Box 361 Forestville NSW 2087 T 02 8977 8300 www.autismspectrum.org.au

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