To meet diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to the DSM-5 criteria, a child must have ongoing difficulties in the home and community in the following areas: social communication and interaction plus at least two types of restricted, repetitive behaviours.
Speech pathologists look at the social communication aspect to help inform a paediatrician’s diagnosis. An occupational therapist (OT) assesses restricted repetitive behaviours, motor skills, executive functioning, sensory differences through play and every day activities. Below are a list of the communication behaviours and signs of Autism that speech language pathologists (SLP) look for in order to inform paediatricians who make a diagnosis. Just because a child has some of the below signs it doesn’t mean they are autistic but it indicates further assessment is recommended.
Examples of differences in social communication and interaction that are common in Autism:
So what can you do next?
Get on a waitlist for a paediatrician assessment. Your GP can refer you to a private paediatrician or to the Child Development Service in your local area. This can take many months in both private and public settings.
While you are waiting for this appointment you can:
Written by Calla Dolton Speech Pathologist
Blog posts are written by all members of the RSP team.