Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders is a lifelong disorder that emerges in the first year or two of life. It consists of disturbances in the following areas:
- Developmental rates and the sequence of motor, social-adaptive and cognitive skills.
- Reaction towards sensory inputs – hyper and hypo sensitivity in audition, vision, tactile stimulation, motor, olfactory and taste, including self-stimulatory behaviours.
- Speech and Language, cognition, and nonverbal communication, including mutism, echolalia, and difficulty with abstract terms.
- Capacity to appropriately relate to people, events and objects, including lack of social behaviours, affection and appropriate play.
Autism is normally the common name for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is the collective term for individuals affected in the aforementioned areas. Due to the diverse symptoms the word spectrum is used. Another term often heard is Pervasive Developmental Disorder ( PDD). This refers to the milder form of Autism while ASD is the more severe form.