Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

Embed Size (px)

Citation preview

Page 1: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)



Page 2: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)


Page 3: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

DEFINITION… both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain

development. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a

person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

Page 4: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)



Page 5: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

OTHER RELATED DISORDERS… Autistic disorder. This is what most people think of when they

hear the word "autism." It refers to problems with social interactions, communication, and imaginative play in children younger than 3 years. Asperger’s syndrome. These children don't have a problem with language in fact, they tend to score in the average or above-average range on intelligence tests. But they have the same social problems and limited scope of interests as children with autistic disorder.

Pervasive developmental disorder or PDD. also known as atypical autism. This is a kind of catch-all category for children who have some autistic behaviors but who don't fit into other categories.

Page 6: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

Rett Syndrome. Children with Rett syndrome, primarily girls, start developing normally but then begin losing their communication and social skills. Beginning at the age of 1 to 4 years, repetitive hand movements replace purposeful use of the hands. Children with Rett syndrome are usually severely cognitively impaired.

Childhood disintegrative disorder. 

These children develop normally for at least two years and then lose some or most of their communication and social skills. This is an extremely rare disorder and its existence as a separate condition is a matter of debate among many mental health professionals. These disorders may now be diagnosed as either a social communication disorder or autism spectrum disorder based on the primary impairments.

Page 7: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)


Page 8: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

SIGNS/ SYMPTOMS…Social impairmento Most children with ASD have trouble engaging in everyday

social interactions.

For example, some children with ASD may:

Make little eye contact Tend to look and listen less to people in their environment

or fail to respond to other people Rarely seek to share their enjoyment of toys or activities

by pointing or showing things to others Respond unusually when others show anger, distress, or


Page 9: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

SIGNS/ SYMPTOMS…Communication issueso For children with ASD, reaching such milestones may

not be so straightforward. For example, some children with autism may:

For example, some children with ASD may:

Fail or be slow to respond to their name or other verbal attempts to gain their attention

Fail or be slow to develop gestures, such as pointing and showing things to others

Coo and babble in the first year of life, but then stop doing so

Develop language at a delayed pace

Page 10: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)


Page 11: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

CAUSES…1. Genetic factorso In identical twins who share the exact same genetic code, if

one has ASD, the other twin also has ASD in nearly 9 out of 10 cases. If one sibling has ASD, the other siblings have 35 times the normal risk of also developing the disorder. Researchers are starting to identify particular genes that may increase the risk for ASD.

o Combinations of genes may predispose a child to autism. But there are risk factors that increase the chance of having a child with autism.

o Advanced age of the mother or the father increases the chance of an autistic child.

o When a pregnant woman is exposed to certain drugs or chemicals, her child is more likely to be autistic

Page 12: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

2. Environmental factorso In medicine, "environment" refers to anything

outside of the body that can affect health. This includes the air we breathe, the water we drink and bathe in, the food we eat, the medicines we take, and many other things that our bodies may come in contact with.

3. Vaccineso A minority of parents suspect that vaccines are

somehow related to their child's disorder. Some may be concerned about these vaccines due to the unproven theory that ASD may be caused by thimerosal.

Thimerosal is a mercury-based chemical once added to some, but not all, vaccines to help extend their shelf life.

Page 13: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)


Page 14: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

CHARACTERISTICS…Love of Routines - it may be difficult for a person with autism to take a different approach to something once they have been taught the 'right' way to do it. People with autism may not be comfortable with the idea of change, but can cope well if they are prepared for it in advance.

Sensory Sensitivity- can occur in one or more of the five senses - sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. A person's senses are either intensified (hypersensitive) or under-sensitive (hypo-sensitive).

Page 15: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

Special Interest- many people with autism have intense special interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong, and can be anything from art or music, to trains or computers. Some people with autism may eventually be able to work or study in related areas. For others, it will remain a hobby.Learning Disabilities- as with autism, people can have different 'degrees' of learning disability, so some will be able to live fairly independently - although they may need a degree of support to achieve this - while others may require lifelong, specialist support. However, all people with autism can and do, learn and develop with the right sort of support.

Page 16: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)


Page 17: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

AREAS OF DIFFICULTY… Difficulty with social communication

They can find it difficult to use or understand:

o facial expressions or tone of voice

o jokes and sarcasmo common phrases and sayings

Difficulty with social interaction

They may:

o appear to be insensitive because they have not recognized how someone else is feeling

o prefer to spend time alone rather than seeking out the company of other people

o not seek comfort from other people

Page 18: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

Difficulty with social imagination

Difficulties with social imagination mean that people with autism find it hard to:

o understand and interpret other people's thoughts, feelings and actions

o predict what will happen next, or what could happen next

o understand the concept of danger, for example that running on to a busy road poses a threat to them

o engage in imaginative play and activitieso prepare for change and plan for the futureo cope in new or unfamiliar situations.

Page 19: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)



Page 20: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

DIAGNOSIS…Having a diagnosis is helpful for two reasons:

o it helps people with autism (and their families) to understand why they may experience certain difficulties and what they can do about them

o it allows people to access services and support.


Page 21: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

MEDICATIONS…Stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin), are safe and effective in treating people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methylphenidate has been shown to effectively treat hyperactivity in children with ASD as well. But not as many children with ASD respond to treatment, and those who do have shown more side effects than children with ADHD and not ASD.

Page 22: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)

Antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft), are usually prescribed to treat depression and anxiety but are sometimes prescribed to reduce repetitive behaviors. Some antidepressants may also help control aggression and anxiety in children with ASD.

Antipsychotic medications are more commonly used to treat serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. These medicines may help reduce aggression and other serious behavioral problems in children, including children with ASD. They may also help reduce repetitive behaviors, hyperactivity, and attention problems.

Page 23: Autism (autism spectrum disorder)