Do you know a child on the autism spectrum? Are you concerned that your child is showing signs of autism? Talking Matters can provide assessment and therapy for children on the autism spectrum. The word spectrum is used because children and adults show a wide range of skills, abilities and difficulties and while they share some similarities, no two are the same. For example, people on the spectrum can range from highly intelligent to intellectually disabled and from highly verbal to having no speech.
They can also have very different needs in the way their bodies process sensory input from touch, smell, sound, vision and balance. People with autism have difficulties with social interaction and show repetitive behaviours and/or restricted interests. They may or may not have significant difficulties with communication skills and language, though their language skills may be somewhat unusual, and they have difficulties with using language in social interactions. Signs which indicate the possibility that a child may be on the autism spectrum include:
- reduced eye contact
- not showing things of interest to others
- not sharing experiences with others
- not responding when spoken to
- limited pointing and social smiling
- more interested in objects than people
- preferring to play alone
- ignoring or avoiding other children
- having difficulty relating to children of their own age
- seeming to be in a "world of their own"
- unusual or repetitive movements
- unusual ways of playing such as lining things up or spinning
- rituals or routines that must be done in sequence
- unusual or very strong interests
- unusual fears
- sensitivity to textures, touch, tastes, sounds or light
- delayed or unusual language skills.
Children on the spectrum will not show all these signs but will show a number of them. If your child has a number of these signs you may wish to speak to your speech pathologist, occupational therapist, psychologist or pediatrician about an assessment.
Make an appointment
Talking Matters is a good place to start if you need help working out what help your child needs and how to find it. For registration with Autism SA the diagnosis must be agreed upon by two recognised, differently qualified health professionals.
Do you want to see video examples of children with characteristics of autism spectrum compared to children who do not have autism spectrum? If so, view this 10 minute Youtube video to help you decide if you should make an appointment for autism assessment. For more useful information about autism, see our articles in the Talking Matters Blog and view this YouTube video of Dr Tony Attwood talking about Asperger's syndrome.