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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

In the United States, a revision to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was presented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5 (DSM-5), released May 2013. The new diagnosis encompasses previous diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and PDD-NOS

What are the different types of autism?

There are three different types of Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Autistic Disorder (also called "classic" autism) This is what most people think of when hearing the word "autism."

Asperger Syndrome

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called "atypical autism")

The main features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are problems with social communication and interaction.

Signs and symptoms of ASD in school-age children

Spoken language

delayed speech development (for example, speaking less than 50 different words by the age of two), or not speaking at all

frequent repetition of set words and phrases

speech that sounds very monotonous or flat

preferring to communicate using single words, despite being able to speak in sentences

Responding to others

not responding to their name being called, despite having normal hearing

rejecting cuddles initiated by a parent or carer (although they may initiate cuddles themselves)

reacting unusually negatively when asked to do something by someone else

Interacting with others

not being aware of other people’s personal space, or being unusually intolerant of people entering their own personal space

little interest in interacting with other people, including children of a similar age

not enjoying situations that most children of their age like, such as birthday parties

preferring to play alone, rather than asking others to play with them

rarely using gestures or facial expressions when communicating

avoiding eye contact


having repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, or flicking their fingers

playing with toys in a repetitive and unimaginative way, such as lining blocks up in order of size or colour, rather than using them to build something

preferring to have a familiar routine and getting very upset if there are changes to this routine

having a strong like or dislike of certain foods based on the texture or colour of the food as much as the taste

unusual sensory interests – for example, children with ASD may sniff toys, objects or people inappropriately

A diagnosis of ASD can lead to recommendations for specialized therapy and parent education, occupational therapy, speech therapy and a specialized education plan and can imply an additional hardship for American Citizen children facing the removal of an immigrant parent.

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, please provide details and documentation at your evaluation.

Other conditions associated with ASD

People with ASD often have symptoms or aspects of other conditions, such as:

a learning disability

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Tourette's syndrome or other tic disorders



obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

generalized anxiety disorder


bipolar disorder

sleep problems

sensory difficulties

If your child has any of these symptoms, they may benefit from separate treatment, such as medication, animal assisted therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in addition to their treatment for ASD.

If you would like to confidentially assess your child for ASD or other issues, contact our office to schedule an evaluation.

We offer a variety of assessments and can, at your request, convey the results to school or court as requested.

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