Autism Basics

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  • Autism
    • Joint attention
      • Around the age of 9-15 months, most infants engage in behaviour that results in shared interaction between them and another person
        • The child's gaze will shift from an interesting event or object to another person in such a way that their own and another person's attention becomes focused on the same object
        • This is usually achieved by gazing or pointing & is known as joint attention
      • The child is interested in the car-giver's attitude and feelings towards the object as both the infant and car-giver pay attention to the same object.
      • demonstrates the intention to socially interact with another person
      • Joint attention in absent with those who have autism
    • Triad of impairments
      • The DSM-IV requires delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of these areas for a diagnosis of autism to be given
        • Social Interaction
        • Language used in social communication
        • Symbolic or imaginative play
      • Led researchers to look closely at whether the 3 domains occur by chance or form the triad of impairments
        • That always occur together and therefore constitute a syndrome
      • Evaluation
        • Although too vague to be used reliably as a  diagnostic tool -the 3 features appear in diagnostic mannuals
          • further research into autism being a syndrome is ongoing
        • Doesn't tell us anything about other recognised symptoms that some autistic individuals display.
          • EG: Islets of ability


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