Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a child’s social skills, communication, relationships and self-regulation.
Autism has a range (or “spectrum”) of symptoms. Every child has a unique pattern of behaviour and will exhibit symptoms with different levels of severity. It encompasses Asperger Syndrome, PDD-NOS, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Autistic Disorder
• Does not respond to name by 12 months of age,
• Avoids eye-contact,
• Prefers to play alone,
• Difficulties forming and sustaining friendships,
• Lack of understanding of social rules,
• Unable to handle their own emotions,
• Difficulty in understanding social cues( facial expressions, body language).
• Delayed speech and language skills,
• Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia),
• Reverses pronouns (e.g., says “you” instead of “I”),
• Gives unrelated answers to questions,
• Talks in a flat, monotone, or sing-song voice,
• Does not understand jokes, sarcasm, or teasing,
• Talks in a literal way.
Social Imagination and repetitive interests:
• Limited “pretend” play (e.g., does not pretend to “feed” a doll),
• Repetitive behaviours (flaps hands, rocks body etc),
• Limited set of interests and activities,
• Inability to generalize skills learnt in isolation,
• Gets upset by changes in routine,
• Unusual responses to sensory experiences.