This material is also available in a PDF format:
Ash is on his own track
Does Ash have an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
What you might see in a child with an autism spectrum disorder
A child with an autism spectrum disorder may...
|Parents and carers might notice their child...|
|• have trouble understanding nonverbal communication cues||
• doesn’t look at them when speaking
• doesn’t notice if they are bored or in a hurry
|• have poor conversation skills||
• talks on and on
• talks over others and doesn’t listen
|• have strong memory for facts and details||
• remembers obscure information, and may insist on all ﬁne details being right
|• have interests that totally take over||
• obsessed with one thing (eg knows everything about a particular make of car and never stops talking about it)
|• take things literally||
• if they are told to ‘hold on’, may take it literally and take hold of something
• doesn’t understand jokes
|• be good with computers||• may prefer to work with computers rather than with people|
|• have difﬁculty making friends.||• prefers to be with adults or younger children|
How parents and carers can help
Comment on what other people are feeling. For example, you may say, “Your dad is frowning. He looks angry.”
Help your child to recognise social rules for communication. Try to make sure he or she listens to others and lets them take a turn in the conversation.
Tell your child directly what to do if he or she is not sure how to communicate.
When things go wrong, help your child to talk about what he or she was doing and feeling, what others were doing and feeling and to talk about what he or she could do next time to get a different result.
Tune into strengths. Try to appreciate your child’s unique perception of the world.
Are you worried that your child is a bit like Ash?
To be diagnosed with one of the autism spectrum disorders, a team of mental health professionals will need to make a careful assessment. The team is likely to include a psychologist, a speech pathologist, an occupational therapist and a paediatrician.
The following web pages may also be of interest: