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Autism spectrum disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disability characterised by difficulties in:

  • social interaction

  • verbal and non verbal communication

  • restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours

  • sensory sensitivities

Research suggests that ASD now affects at least 1 in 160 children, and it is more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls — at a rate of four to one. Early intervention has been shown to make significant changes in the outcomes for these children.

Assessing your child for an autism spectrum disorder

A diagnostic assessment for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be recommended if there are concerns regarding your child's communication, social skills and/or behaviour. In May 2013 a new fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)  was launched – the DSM-5. The DSM-5  has changed the way ASD is now diagnosed. The changes reflect the current understanding of ASD, based on research. See diagnostic criteria for ASD


At Brain & Language Connections, our comprehensive ASD assessment encompasses all aspects of your child's speech, language and social communication skills. Depending on the child's age, the  assessment may include, but is not limited to:

  • Informal assessment of  play, joint attention, imitation, speech, oral motor, expressive and receptive language, and/or pragmatic language skills.

  • Formal oral language testing to assess whether the child’s understanding and use of spoken language is at an age appropriate level.

  • Pragmatic/social aspects of language and communication to assess whether the child is able to start and continue a conversation and how he or she uses both verbal and nonverbal language to express thoughts and feelings, and to interact with others.


Helping a child with an ASD

Once a diagnosis of an ASD is made, we work with parents, teachers and/or carers to design a therapy program that helps develop and improve the difficulties identified through the assessment process. We offer a range of services depending on the age of the child and the presenting difficulties.

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