Autism Spectrum Conditions - What do we look for in assessments?

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

Social Interaction

  • 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