There are three main areas that we focus on when carrying out an assessment and considering a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition.
Language and Communication
- Delayed speech development
- Frequent repetition of set words and pre-learned phrases
- Speech that sounds very monotonous or flat
- Preference to communicate using single words, despite being able to speak in sentences
- Seeming to talk “at” people, rather than sharing a two-way conversation
- Taking people’s speech literally and being unable to understand sarcasm, metaphors or figures of speech
- Unaware 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
- Preference to play alone, rather than asking others to play with them
- Avoiding eye-contact
- Rarely using gestures or facial expressions
Rigidity of Thought, Behaviours and Imagination
- 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
- Finding it hard to play or think imaginatively, or to create original and creative stories and ideas
- 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 ASC may sniff toys, objects or people inappropriately