Autism Spectrum Disorder - ASD

This diagnosis encompasses a wide range of neurobiological disorders that impact the brain and nervous system. There are two main areas affected in people with Autism:

  1. Social Communication Skills - Many children with this diagnosis are not able to speak, whilst others develop language skills but the nature of their language is different to the norm. For example, language may be robotic, repetitive or have no sense to it, or children may not have the expected vocabulary for their age. A lot of children within the spectrum may appear as isolated and have little interest in interacting with others. Some children interact in an odd manner or look to connect with peers but don’t seem to have the tools to do so in an adequate way.
  2. Patterns of behaviour - Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may present repetitive motor patterns, such as rocking, walking on tippy toes or hand flapping. They may also present stereotypical behaviour and rituals demonstrating obsessive interest in one topic or limited participation in conversations that do not revolve around their interest.

The word Spectrum is used to describe the diagnosis because of the levels of functionality that a person may have, however in every case all areas are compromised to a degree. Because we talk about a spectrum, it is also possible that a child may progress through the levels of functionality, and that with time and adequate interventions a diagnosis may change.

Autism Spectrum Disorder can be grouped in the following way:

El Espectro Autista

High Functioning

People diagnosed with:

  • Mild Autism
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Non otherwise specified
These are people with more functional use of language;
they are able to share their basic needs;
they present normal to high IQ levels.

Mild Functioning

People diagnosed with:

  • Autism Disorder
These are people with repetitive or echolalic language;
they present difficulties expressing their basic needs;
they present normal to low IQ levels.

Severe Functioning

People Diagnosed with:

  • Autism disorder, or those who are presenting Autistic symptoms with a comorbid disorder. These would include mental and cognitive delays, seizure disorders or syndromes such as Fragile X or Childhood Disintegrative Disease.
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