Autism and Related Disorders

resized__200x146_autism and related disorders2Whether your son or daughter has recently been diagnosed with autism, or you simply have suspicions that something is "not quite right" about the way your child responds to everyday events, it is important to develop an understanding of what differentiates autism from other related disorders. It is our hope that the information provided below will answer some of the questions you may have as you begin your search for answers about this complex disorder.

What Characterizes Autism?

Autism is a term used to refer to Autistic Disorder(AD) and more generally, to all the Autism Specturm Disorders (ASD's). There are 5 ASD's that fall under the larger diagnostic category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV):

  •  Autistic Disorder
  •  Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
  •  Asperger's Syndrome
  •  Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  •  Rett's Disorder

Below are some common characteristics of Autism, also called Autistic Disorder (AD)

  • Marked deficits and excesses in communication, reciprocal social interaction, and restricted interests
  • Repetitive, stereotyped behaviours
  • Disruptive behaviour
  • Abnormal responses to sensory stimuli
  • Lack of interest in being with others
  • Limited functional communication
  • Language processing difficulties
  • Difficulties learning
  • Avoidance or odd use of eye contact
  • Lacks understanding of social cues

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