Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there is a wide degree of variation in the way it affects people, Gifted People Services wants to bring below some common concerns parents are always wondering about:
1- Where does your child fall on the autism spectrum?
The three autism spectrum disorders share many of the same symptoms, However they differ in their severity and impact:
- Classic Autism: is the most severe of the autism spectrum disorders and sometimes called autistic disorder.
- Asperger's Syndrome: it is a milder disorder and sometimes called high-functioning autism.
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder or not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
Note: The average majority fall in the middle range of the spectrum and only 20% of them have classic autism.
2- What are the signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders?
- Social Skills: such as lack of interest in other people, difficulty in making friends with children same age and unusual body language and facial expressions.
- Speech and Language: such as delay in learning or talking, doesn't understand simple words or phrases and difficulty communicating needs and desires.
- Restricted Behavior and play: such as repetitive body movements, a strong needs for routines and odd ways of moving.
3- The road to an autism diagnosis can be difficult and time consuming and this is due to high concerns about labelling or incorrectly diagnosing the child.
4- Some cases need more than one specialist to be involved in diagnosing your child autism such as:
- Child psychologists
- Child psychiatrists
- Speech pathologists
- Developmental paediatricians
- Paediatric neurologists
- Physical therapists
- Special education teachers
5-The last but not the least, there is no single medical test that can diagnose it definitively, it needs multiple evaluations and tests in order to detect the child problem.