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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Is defined by the American Psychiatric

Associations Diagnosis of Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-5) as a single disorder that
includes disorders that were previously
considered separate autism, Aspergers
syndrome, childhood disintegrative
developmental disorder not otherwise
Checklist for signs of autism
Social interactions
Children with autism might:
seem to be in their own world
show little eye contact for
example, during interaction, or to
draw attention to something
not use gestures for example,
lifting arms to be picked up
not share enjoyment or interests
for example, they might not point to
an object or event to share it
show little emotion or empathy
not respond to their names
show no interest in other children or
Children with autism might:
have little or no babble
have little or no spoken language
not engage in pretend play for
example, they wont feed a baby doll
have echolalia, which means they
echo or mimic words or phrases
without meaning or in an unusual
tone of voice
have difficulty understanding and
following simple instructions for
example, Give me the block might
be difficult for them.
Repetitive or persistent behaviours
Children with autism might:
have intense interest in certain
objects theyll get stuck on one
particular toy or object
focus narrowly on an object for
example, on a detail like opening
and closing the door on a toy bus
rather than pretending to drive it
insist on following routines and be
easily upset by change
show repetitive body movements or
unusual body movements for
example, back-arching, hand-
flapping or walking on toes.
Sensory issues
Children with autism might:
be extremely sensitive to sensory
experiences for example, they
might be easily upset by certain
sounds, or only eat foods with a
certain texture
seek sensory stimulation for
example, they might like deep
pressure touch or vibrating objects
like the washing machine
like to flutter their fingers at the side
of their eyes to watch the light
Changes to diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
In May 2013, the criteria used to diagnose
children with autism spectrum disorder
(ASD) changed.
Previously, the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition)
(DSM-IV) categorised children with ASD as
having either autistic disorder, Aspergers
disorder or PDD-NOS. The new version of
the Manual, DSM-5, combines these three
categories into one, which is simply
referred to as autism spectrum disorder
What Causes Autism?
Genetic problems:
Over the last five years, scientists have identified a
number of rare gene changes, or mutations,
associated with autism. Research has identified
more than a hundred autism risk genes. In around 15
percent of cases, a specific genetic cause of a
persons autism can be identified. However, most
cases involve a complex and variable combination of
genetic risk and environmental factors that influence
early brain development.
Environmental Factors:
parental age at time of conception (both
mom and dad)
maternal illness during pregnancy
extreme prematurity and very low birth
weight and certain difficulties during
birth(periods of oxygen deprivation to the
babys brain)
Mothers exposed to high levels of
pesticides and air pollution may also be at
higher risk of having a child with ASD
It is important to keep in mind that these
factors, by themselves, do not cause
autism. Rather, in combination with genetic
risk factors, they appear to modestly
increase risk.
Prevalence Of Autism
Went from 1 in 2500, to 1 in 1000, to 1 in
166 over the past decade.
Autism is now more common than
childhood cancer, downs syndrome, spina
bifida or cystic fibrosis.
Boys are affected 4 times as often as girls
but unknown as to why.
1 out of 68 families will have a child with
Is There A Cure For Autism?
No it is a lifelong disorder.
Some suggest otherwise but
theres a lack of evidence.
But people with Autism often make good
progress and develop coping strategies.
Range of therapies and treatments but no
real consensus on what is most effective.
Because there is a wide variability in people
with Autism there is a need to develop an
individual treatment and management plan.
6 Steps To Success For Autism
Step 1: Educate Yourself.
Step 2: Reach Out to the Parents.
Step 3: Prepare the Classroom.
Step 4: Educate Peers and Promote Social Goals.
Step 5: Collaborate on the Implementation of an
Education Plan.
Step 6: Manage Behavioral Challenges.

1. Autism Spectrum Disorder/
Autistic Disorder
A collection of developmental disorders in
which a child engages in repetitive
behaviors and has trouble communicating
and connecting with others. It's usually
diagnosed around age 2 or 3, although
some signs show up earlier.
Symptoms can be mild to severe.
Children who meet more rigid criteria for a
diagnosis of autism have autistic disorder.
They have more severe impairments
involving social and language functioning as
well as repetitive behaviors. Often, they
also have mental retardation and seizures.

DSM IV/ICD-10 Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autistic Disorder

Retts Disorder

Age of Onset Delays or abnormal
functioning in social
interaction, language or play
by age 3.
normal prenatal
normal motor
development for
first 5 months;
deceleration of
head growth
between ages 5
and 48 months .

development for
at least the first
two years of
birth; clinically
significant loss of
acquired skills
before age 10.

NO clinically
significant delay in
development, or
development of
age appropriate
self-help skills,
adaptive behavior
and environment
in childhood.

This category is to
be used in cases of
impairment in
social interaction
with presence of
behaviors of
interests when
criteria are not
met for a specific

Qualitative Impairment in
social interaction, as
manifested by at least two
of the ff:
a. marked impairment in the
use of multiple nonverbal
behaviors i.e., eye to eye
b. Failure to develop peer
relationships appropriate to
developmental level;
c. Lack of spontaneous
seeking to share enjoyment
with other people;
d. Lack of social or emotional
Loss of social
early in the
course (although
often social
develops later).

Same with
Autistic disorder
along with loss of
social skills

Same as Autistic

Communication Qualitative impairments of
communication as
manifested by at least one of
the ff:
a. delay in, or total
lack of, the
development of
spoken language;
b. Marked
impairment in
initiating or
sustaining a
conversation with
others, in
individuals with
adequate speech;
c. Stereotyped and
repetitive use of
language or
expressive and
development and

Same as Autistic
disorder, along
with loss of
expressive or

NO clinically
significant delay in

d. Lack of varied,
make-be;ieve or
imitative play
Behavior Restricted, repetitive, and
stereotyped patterns of
behavior, as manifested by
one of the ff:
a. preoccupation
with one or more
stereotyped or
restricted patterns
of interest;
b. adherence to
routines or rituals;
c. stereotyped and
repetitive motor
d. persistent
with parts of

Loss of previously
purposeful hand
appearance of
coordinated gait
or trunk

Same as Autistic
disorder, along
with loss of
bowel or bladder
control, play,
motor skills

Same as Autistic

Exclusions Disturbance not better
accounted for by Retts or
Disturbance not
better accounted
for by another
PDD or
Criteria are not
met for another
PDD or