Autism or ASD

There are three key characteristics of the child with autism spectrum disorder. The child must demonstrate all three characteristics in order to be considered to be on the spectrum:

  • An impairment in the development of communication skills appropriate for the child's age
  • An impairment in the development of social relationships
  • Either a restricted pattern of interests which prevent the child engaging in normal social play and interaction, or evidence of repetitive movements that look the same each time they occur. Commonly these movements consist of things like flapping the hands, flicking fingers, looking at objects from an unusual angle or blinking the eyes.

A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is made by a team of specialists headed by a paediatrician. Information is usually gathered from medical specialists, an occupational therapist, a psychologist and a speech pathologist, together with the child's family and teachers. This provides the most effective form of diagnosis.

Further information can be obtained from: