Parents frequently ask "What are the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder?" and unfortunately we can't always give a straight answer. Autism isn't like most diagnoses where your child will display symptoms x, y and z and you know that's what it is. Autism has a range of symptoms that fit into two categories and the presentations between children may vary significantly. Read on to find out about some of the early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is classified as a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder. What this means is it is lifelong and relates to the development of the brain. Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by difficulties with social communication and interaction, and ritualised patterns of behaviours. Symptoms often present in early childhood, but the average age of diagnosis is 5.49 years.
Recent research has uncovered differences among boys and girls in their presentation and experiences of ASD. Understanding of what was previously assumed to be a male-dominant diagnosis, has now broadened, uncovering unique signs and symptoms of ASD for boys and girls. It is possible that several girls with an ASD diagnosis have flown under the radar due to limited understanding of female ASD experiences. As such, it is important that parents and practitioners be aware of the signs of Autism in a female population.
The overlap of symptoms between different disorders can be confusing for parents, and at times therapists!!!. When understanding the complexity of this it is important to realise that different therapists receive training in different areas.