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Autistic spectrum disorders
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Autistic spectrum disorders



Published in Health & Medicine , Education
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  • 1. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • 2. What is it?Characterised by difficulties in social interaction, impairedcommunication, restricted and repetitive interests andbehaviours and sensory sensitivities.Spectrum – range and severity of the difficulties varyIncludes autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder andpervasive developmental disorder.1 in 160 Australians have ASD and is more prevalent in boysthan girls
  • 3. Social InteractionLimited use and understanding of non-verbalcommunication such as eye gaze, facial expression andgestureDifficulties forming and sustaining friendshipsLack of seeking to share enjoyment, interest and activitieswith other peopleDifficulties with social and emotional responsiveness
  • 4. CommunicationDelayed language developmentDifficulties initiating and sustaining conversationsStereotyped and repetitive use of language such asrepeating phrases from televisionLimited imaginative or make-believe play
  • 5. Restricted and repetitive interests, activities and behavioursUnusually intense or focused interestsStereotyped and repetitive body movements such as handflapping and spinningRepetitive use of objects such as repeatedly flicking a doll’seyes or lining up toysAdherence to non-functional routines such as insisting ontravelling the same route home each day
  • 6. Different types of ASDAutistic Disorder – impairments in social interaction andcommunication as well as restricted and repetitive interests,activities and behaviours evident prior to three years of ageAsperger’s disorder – No significant delay in early languageacquisition, cognitive abilities or self help skills. Often detectedlater than autistic disorderPervasive Developmental Disorder – a marked socialimpairment, but fails to meet full criteria for either autisticdisorder or Asperger’s.
  • 7. DiagnosisObservations and meetings with the individual and familyto gather information through standardised tests orquestionnaires.No single behaviour indicates ASD Early indicators No babbling or pointing by age 1 No single words by 16 mon No response to name Loss of language or social skills Poor eye contact Excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • 8. CausesNo single known cause, but recent research has identifiedstrong genetic links.Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected,there is a 90 percent chance the other twin will be affected.
  • 9. TreatmentsEducational/behavioural interventions (e.g. AppliedBehavioural Analysis)Medications