What Is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder. It affects approximately 1 in 100 people and is more prevalent in males than females. While there is no cure, evidence shows early intervention, delivered within a program that meets the 2012 Australian Good Practice Guidelines, can make a difference to a child's development.
Autism is part of a spectrum that is often referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). People with autism share challenges in two main areas, however, their condition can affect them differently. Some people are able to live relatively 'normal' everyday lives, while others may require ongoing specialist support and care.
The two main areas of difficulty are commonly referred to as the 'dyad of impairments'. These include:
- Social and communication, including difficulty with body language and verbal communication, reciprocal conversation, emotional and social reciprocity and managing structured parts of the day.
- Thought flexibility, including difficulty with hyper, or hypo-sensitivity to sensory input, routines, repetitive behaviours and rituals.
*Please note, the DSM 5 was released in May 2013. For information or to see frequently asked questions about the DSM 5, visit the official website.