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An Overview

Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors.

DIAGNOSE

  1. Early diagnosis can make a huge difference in the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. But it’s not always easy to make an ASD diagnosis. There’s no lab test for it, so doctors rely on observing the behaviors of very young children and listening to the concerns of their parents.
  2. ASD has a very wide range of symptoms. Some people who are “on the spectrum” have severe mental disabilities. Others are highly intelligent and able to live independently.
  3. Wherever your child falls on the spectrum, getting an autism diagnosis is a two-stage process, and it starts with your pediatrician.

Autism is a spectrum disorder characterized by:

    • Impairments in social interaction
    • Impairments in communication
    • Presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors (RRBs)
  1. Autistic Disorder
  2. Asperger’s Disorder (with Language)
  3. PDD-NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)
  4. Rhett’s Disorder
  5. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Autism is a spectrum disorder characterized by:

    • Impairments in social interaction
    • Presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors (RRBs)
  • No/poor eye contact
  • No/poor response to name
  • No/poor imitation skills
  • Repetitive movements with objects
  • Abnormal posturing of body, arms, hands or fingers
  • Echolalic speech (Repetitive Speech)
  • No social smile by 6 months
  • No imitation of sounds/ smiles/facial expressions by 9 months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No imitation of gestures (pointing/waving/reaching) by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • Head banging
  • Hand flapping
  • Non-communicative
  • Non-verbal
  • “Own world”
  • Echolalic speech
  • Psychiatric – Anxiety / Depression / OCD / Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Behavioural – Disruptive / Irritable / Aggressive / Self injurious
  • Sensory disturbances – Tactile / Visual / Auditory sensitivity
  • Oro-motor problems
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Neurological – Epilepsy / Tics
  • Gastrointestinal – GERD / Constipation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Skill-Based Interventions
    • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
    • Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
      • Stimulus – Response – REWARD
      • Useful in developing motor skills, imitation & play, language, emotional expressions, academics
      • Reduction of self-stimulatory & aggressive behaviours
    • Functional Communication Training (FCT)
      • Replacing disruptive behaviour with appropriate communication

 

    • Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC)
      • Devices & tools to compensate for communication deficits
      • Sign language / picture cards / electronic devices

 

    • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
      • Exchanging picture paired with verbal label for the item
      • Also provides opportunity for social contact

 

 

  • Cognitive Interventions
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Teaching individuals with ASD to monitor their own behavior and performance
  • Useful in older, high functioning children (Asperger’s)

 

  • Occupational Therapy Interventions

Alter way in which neurological system processes information

    • Sensory Integration through Occupational Therapy

 

  • Medicinal / Pharmacological Interventions

To control certain issues like

    • Sleeplessness
    • Seizures