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Childhood disintegrative disorder and Rett Syndrome were also among the pervasive developmental disorders. If your child is developmentally delayed or exhibits other autism-like behaviors, you will need to visit a medical professional or a clinical psychologist who specializes in diagnostic testing for a thorough evaluation. Your doctor can help you figure out whether your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder and how severely he or she is affected. We present problems with social skills separately from problems with speech and language, to make it easier for parents to quickly identify symptoms.

Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:. Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder struggle with speech and language comprehension. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are often restricted, rigid, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to be less spontaneous than other kids. They also show differences in the way they play. They may have trouble with functional play, or using toys that have a basic intended use, such as toy tools or cooking set.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Basics | Child Mind Institute

Sensory problems — Many children with autism spectrum disorders either underreact or overreact to sensory stimuli. At times they may ignore people speaking to them, even to the point of appearing deaf. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound. Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture. They may cringe at a pat on the back or the feel of certain fabric against their skin.

Emotional difficulties — Children with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, he or she may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior breaking things, hitting others, or harming him or herself.

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities also notes that kids with ASD may be unfazed by real dangers like moving vehicles or heights, yet be terrified of harmless objects such as a stuffed animal.

Genetics of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Uneven cognitive abilities — ASD occurs at all intelligence levels. However, even kids with normal to high intelligence often have unevenly developed cognitive skills.

Autism spectrum disorder

No two people on the autism spectrum are alike. ASD is a neuro-developmental disability thought to have neurological or genetic causes or both. However, the cause is not yet fully understood and there is no cure.


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A person on the autism spectrum has difficulties in some areas of their development, but other skills may develop typically. ASD affects around 1 in to 1 in people of school age, with males being around four times more likely to be affected than females. People on the autism spectrum have difficulties in the two main areas of:. People on the autism spectrum often have difficulty with communication. They may have difficulty expressing their needs. Some people on the autism spectrum never develop language, while others might have good verbal language skills.

For those who do develop language, they may have difficulties using appropriate grammar and vocabulary, and in constructing meaningful sentences. They may misunderstand words, interpret them literally or not understand them at all. People on the autism spectrum can find social skills and social communication very difficult. They may have difficulty using or interpreting non-verbal communication such as eye contact, gestures and facial expressions, or appear disinterested in the experiences and emotions of others. Establishing and maintaining friendships can be challenging for some people on the autism spectrum.

Some people on the autism spectrum appear to be withdrawn and can become isolated — others try very hard to be sociable, but may not seem to get it right. There is a range of help available, including assessment, education programs and family support.


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There is no medical test for diagnosing ASD. ASD is diagnosed through observation by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals. ASD in children is diagnosed through observation by a multidisciplinary team of the following health professionals:. Some children will show signs of ASD by the age of two and will be diagnosed then.

Other may be diagnosed when they are older. The earlier ASD can be diagnosed the sooner therapy can begin. Early intervention has been shown to improve outcomes for children on the autism spectrum.

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It is not unusual for people on the autism spectrum to have reached adulthood without a diagnosis. A psychologist or psychiatrist with experience in the assessment and diagnosis of autism will ask you about your childhood, and experiences at school and as an adult. They may also do some psychological or psychiatric testing. A speech therapist may also be consulted to assess your social communication skills. All of this information will be used to help make a diagnosis.

If you are diagnosed with ASD, you may feel relieved to know why you feel or behave the way you do. A diagnosis may also help you and your family to understand and cope with the challenges you face. The educational needs of students on the autism spectrum vary greatly. Intensive, specialised programs may be desirable for some students, while other students may be suited to mainstream programs.

The family members parents and siblings of someone on the autism spectrum are also likely to need some support. Having a child on the autism spectrum can have a significant effect on parents, who may react to the diagnosis in a variety of ways, including relief, shock, grief, anger and guilt. Feelings of stress, confusion and anxiety are also common in parents who are caring for a child on the autism spectrum.

Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)

It can be valuable for parents to consider joining a support group or participating in counselling. For more information visit the Better Health Channel page Autism spectrum disorder — tips for parents. Any link between immunisation and ASD has been completely discredited. During the s, concern in the community about a possible link between the measles, mumps, rubella MMR vaccine and ASD was generated by the findings of research known as the Wakefield study conducted in London in The Wakefield study has since been discredited and withdrawn by the journal that originally published it.

Concerns have also been raised about thiomersal also known as thimerosal , a mercury-based preservative used in some vaccines. Concern about child safety prompted researchers around the world to investigate any possible link between the MMR vaccine, other vaccines and ASD. Extensive research conducted globally for a decade did not establish any link between vaccines and ASD.

Despite this finding, as a precaution, it has been withdrawn from the standard childhood vaccines in Australia and many other countries. The following content is displayed as Tabs. Once you have activated a link navigate to the end of the list to view its associated content.

The activated link is defined as Active Tab. Early childhood interventions help babies and young children with developmental delays or disabilities For children diagnosed with a disability, getting the support they need as early as possible will give them the best chance of minimising the long-term effects of the disability ASD is a complex disorder that affects a person's ability to interact with the world around them Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition, but you are not on your own and there are plenty of professionals and groups who can help People with borderline personality disorder may exhibit extreme behaviour, such as repeated self-mutilation or taking overdoses of medication Children with untreated conduct disorder are at increased risk of problems including substance use, personality disorders and mental illnesses Oppositional defiant disorder is a childhood behavioural problem characterised by constant disobedience and hostility A Healthy Start to School — a guide for parents of children in their foundation year of school This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Autism Victoria trading as amaze.

Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. Click here to open this test in a new window.

Being aware of minute details, like a person who has a different haircut, is, to my knowledge, a part of autism.


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The same thing happened to me. I took it only one time though. Get your tests right, authors. I loath math, and I only enjoy fiction when it comes to reading. Your questions seem based on bad stereotypes perpetuated by movies and the press. Please stop feeding into the misconception that we are all loners who have no social skills or empathy. Please do your research more thoroughly before publishing quizzes like this that cause so much misunderstanding about our community.

Everything you described about yourself was really helpful to me. I took this suboptimal test because I am looking for help navigating this issue in relation to myself. Thanks in advance if you actually do respond! Q10 is a incomplete question. I have a steel trap memory depending on the subject or information. Not exactly impressed. Like I talk to everyone about the same, which is TMI. I fix our appliances all the time, I just look at them and figure it out, never took electronics. I might not clear my throat in a library, but I catch myself singing of talking to myself.

Thumb sucking comes up under stimming too. Luckily I had a spare. I need heavy blankets to sleep. My dad had noisie hobbies like model air planes and car restorations. He once honked the swings horn on the model T he restored while my mom was taking our photo sitting on it, I went hysterical. Blenders, food processors, vacuums, and saws all terrified me.