Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a group of neuron-developmental impairments. People suffer from ASD usually shows different degrees of deficit in social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, repetitive and stereotyped behaviour, such as rocking back-and-forth, repeating others’ speech or with obsessive interest.
Precedent research has indicated that the signs of Autism can emerge at the age of 18 months to the age of three, and, these symptoms, whether mild or severe, are incurable and could affect a people for lifelong. Below are the common symptoms of person who might have Autism:
- Show difficulties in, or have little interests in engaging interaction with others or children at similar age
- Failure in responding names and avoiding eye contacts
- Prefers to play alone
- Hard to interpret others’ facial expression, gestures and feelings
Speech and communication
- Speech and language development delay
- Showing difficulties in communicating in sentences, usually communicate with single words
- Repeating words and phases (Echolalia)
- Talks in a flat, robot-like or monotonous voice
- Repetitive movements like, rocking back and forth or flicking fingers
- Has obsessive interests and habits and could get upset easily for minor changes
- Having strong like or dislike of smell, taste, colour or texture
Besides, some people with Autism may also have other symptoms, such as:
- Short attention span
- Causing self injuries
Diagnosis and Treatment:
These symptoms can make the life of people with Autism very challenging. Although Autism is incurable, an early intervention can help improve the child’s development. With the aid of other therapies like occupational and speech therapies, children with Autism can build up their speech and communication and social interaction skills for their future life.
Therefore, getting a diagnosis at early age is important. In Hong Kong, there are public and private institutions to provide screening, diagnosis and evaluation, to learn more about this institutions, please visit our resources section or visit Department of Health, Child Assessment Centre website for more details.