Autism spectrum disorder (asd) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterised in varying degrees by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviours. Some disorders that fall under autism are: Autistic disorder, rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified (BDD-NOS) and asperger syndrome.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep, gastro intestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
Autism is characterized by
- Impairments in verbal and nonverbal communication
(speaking in abnormal tones, repeating words or phrases, trouble starting and keep conversation, does not understand simple statements and misses humor and sarcasm.
- Impairments in reciprocal social interactions
(unusual or inappropriate body language, unlikely to approach others, difficulty making friends)
- Restricted, repetitive, and stereotypic patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities.
(Hands flapping, rocking, strong need for sameness like order and routine, preoccupation with one specific interest or object)