AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)
A pervasive developmental disorder defined by the presence of abnormal and/or impaired development that manifests in a child before the age of 3 years, and by the characteristic type of abnormal functioning in all three areas of social interaction, communication, and restricted, repetitive behaviour. (ICD 10)
Red Flags/ Early Signs:
- Does not babble or coo by 12 months of age
- Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp, etc.) by 12 months of age
- Does not say single words by 18 months of age
- Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own (rather than just repeating what someone says to him or her) by 24 months of age
- Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age.
Other common signs of Autism may also be unexplained hyperactivity, unusual eating habits and increasing tantrums. Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Evaluation with a therapist includes both parent’s interviews, behavior checklists, and structured child activities. These approaches allow psychologists, occupational therapists, and rehab professionals to obtain information about and/or observe the critical areas in the child’s development or lack of.