Have you guessed? Do you know someone with this condition?
The answer? … I am autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a lifelong developmental disorder. Symptoms of
ASD include difficulties with social interaction, impaired communication skills, repetitive behaviours and sensory sensitivities.
Between 1994 and 2013 what we now think of as ASD was split into three separate conditions – Asperger’s syndrome, autistic disorder and pervasive development disorder. With the release of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5), autism spectrum disorder became the umbrella term with three levels of severity.
Diagnosis of ASD can happen at any age, but early detection in toddlers may be possible through the observation of symptoms such as speech delays, limited interest in faces or eye contact and a lack of interest in other children or imaginative play. La Trobe University and Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre have created a successful smartphone app, ASDetect, which can aid in early diagnosis.
For adults, a diagnosis of ASD may bring considerable relief as it can explain and lead to support for difficulties with forming relationships and social settings such as the workplace.
For more information about autism spectrum disorder, go to: www.autismawareness.com.au
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