What is it?
Autism is a developmental disability that comes from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. It is characterized by the abnormal development of communication skills, social skills, and reasoning. Males are affected four times as often as females. Children may appear normal until around the age of 30 months.
Autism can be confused with several other disorders which may have similar behaviours. Here is a list of autism like disorders that you should look at.
Asperger’s Syndrome– A child with Asperger’s disorder has the same common problems as children with autism however they don’t have language development problems of an autistic child.
High-Functioning Autism -This child has autism but has normal learning and cognitive and learning skills. Language development is difficult initially but they become proficient eventually.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder and not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) – This child has autism but doesn’t meet the criteria for high functioning autism.
Autism Symptoms vary widely in severity; include impairment in social interaction, fixation on inanimate objects, inability to communicate normally, and resistance to changes in daily routine. Characteristic traits include lack of eye contact, repetition of words or phrases, unmotivated tantrums, inability to express needs verbally, and insensitivity to pain.
Behaviors may change over time. Autistic children often have other disorders of brain function; about two thirds are mentally impaired; over one quarter develop seizures.
Parents and Teacher’s tips
Please refer to advice given in Asperger’s syndrome section
Animated explanation of autism – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fy7gUIp8Ms
‘Autism and me’ – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POIJG3qmV9Q