Individuals with Autism experience difficulties in flexible social interaction and communication and rigid/repetitive behaviours or interests. As many as 1 in 100 people are affected by Autism.
There are many other terms used such as High Functioning Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Condition. The medically recognised term for Autism is Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism may be present with other medical conditions as well, therefore an expert evaluation is recommended.
The assessment of Autism includes:
A detailed history of the child’s development and presentation
Medical Examination is very important to rule out medical conditions therefore a paediatrician assessment is necessary
Observation/ Information from more than one setting such as educational setting if applicable or information from other professionals involved
Investigations are not routinely indicated but may be necessary depending on individual presentation
There are a number of Autism specific tools that can be used for assessment. These include but are not limited to
TELE ASD PEDS
There are a number of conditions that can co-exist with Autism. The presence of other conditions can sometimes mask the presentation of Autism. These conditions include but not limited to
Global Developmental Delay or Learning Disability
Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder
Chromosomal Disorders and syndromes etc.
Therefore assessment by a medical expert is required to identify them
Impact of Autism
Children with Autism may have functional and or mental health and behavioural problems
Functional Problems and Disorders
Eating Disorders such as Avoidant and Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Mental health and Behaviour Problems and Disorder
Anxiety and Phobias
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Tics or Tourette Syndrome
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Therefore an expert assessment is recommended to ensure these conditions are recognised and managed appropiately
BOOK THE RIGHT ASSESSMENT
Supporting a child or young person with Autism is a joint responsibility of all those involved with them.