Autism Explained & Researched

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Autism -  Explained and Researched

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria

A diagnosis of autism is made on the basis of observed behaviour. Clinicians must use careful observation of behaviours to determine whether a child’s difficulties are related to autism, or are better described by another condition.The new criteria as defined in the DSM-V: Diagnostic Criteria A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history : 1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions. 2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication. 3. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers. B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history: 1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypies, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases). 2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day). 3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest). 4. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g., apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement). C. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life). D. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning. E. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, social communication should be below that expected for general developmental level. Autism Spectrum Disorder 299.00 (F84.0) (DSM-V, American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Retrieved from Autism Speaks:


Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties in identifying, describing, and processing one’s own feelings, often marked by a lack of understanding of the feelings of others, and difficulty distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal (Kooiman, Spinhoven, & Trijsburg, 2002). An important aspect of social relatedness is the ability to empathize with the feelings of others. Empathy involves two major components: a cognitive component (e.g., theory of mind, perspective taking, or mindreading) and an affective component (emotional processing) which allows us to share the feelings of others.


Dyad of Impairments

A powerpoint of the Dyad of Impairments represented in visual format.

Visuals Explained- Visual Supports 

The National Autistic Society – Information sheets

Visual supports National Autistic Society 



Autism Research Centre

Current is to understand the biomedical causes of autism spectrum conditions, and develop new and validated methods for assessment and intervention.


Autism Umbrella

– A simple visual to explain the complexities of ASD. asperger-under-asd-umbrella

 Pin People poster

National Autistic Society – Pin people (stick people) are used on a one sheet poster to explain ASD in simple terms. Produced by National Autistic Society, UK.


stickmen – Stick people single poster to describe the characteristics of Autism produced by the Autism Society of North Carolina.

 Temple Grandin coloring-book

temple grandin 2 – Written by Temple Grandin to explain Autism- My life in Pictures. A colouring in book about Autism.

 The Cycle of Tantrums

Brenda Smith Myles

cycle of tantrums – Problems related to stress and anxiety are common in children and youth with Asperger syndrome (AS), high-functioning autism (HFA), and related disabilities. Stress and anxiety in these children is often triggered or results from environmental stressors such as having to face challenging social situations with inadequate social awareness, social understanding, and social problem-solving skills; a sense of loss of control; difficulty in predicting outcomes of everyday events and behaviours. Professor Brenda Smith Myles discusses “The Cycle of Tantrums, Rage and Meltdowns.

 Mindmap of Autism

Autism Behavior-Mindmap Autism mindmap pdf We always try to find out what is the antecedent or cause of a behavior. There are 4 main categories what triggers the behaviors of people with autism. The 4 main categories are as follow:

  • Attention – They want your attention
  • Escape – It is their way to try to get away from a situation
  • Tangibles – There may be a certain tangible (eg. toy, sweet, etc) that they want
  • Sensory – They need a sensory input

The picture is a Mind Map of the different reason why a child with autism may exhibit difficult behaviors and how do we deal with them.

Other Examples

Mind map of Autism Incorporates Widget symbols and pictures ASD mindmap Mind map of Autism From

Iceberg with a difference

Iceberg with a difference



Sensory Sites 

therapy store     sensory tools

Out of sync child     bridges

Reacticles App Youtube

ReactTickles Magic is interactive software designed for children on the autism spectrum.  This app uses touch, gesture, and audio input to facilitate interactive communication.  And what’s even better?  It’s free.

Mugsy Dr. Wendy Lawson MAPS, internationally renowned and respected professional, is a researcher, psychologist, writer and poet with high functioning Autism. She has presented internationally and published many journal articles and written several books including her autobiography and everyday text on Autism. Her work explores the influence of neurological development in individuals with Autism with reference to impact upon learning styles.

Temple Grandin Temple Grandin may be considered one of the most well versed authorities on autism, she is autistic herself.  We have gained insight into how the autistic brain thinks.  she has written many books and articles including her well known ‘Thinking in Pictures.’ THINKING IN PICTURES Autism and Visual Thought Temple Grandin Reveals Her Advice for Educating Autistic Kids



‘Working with ASAT has been a great experience. I’ve had the opportunity to use my strengths and build upon them by writing in the newsletter, learning about the grant application process, and collaborating with other team members.’ autism proCreate Individual Behaviour Intervention Plans..

Research autism This website provides up-to-date, scientifically reliable information about autism. It provides information about some of the issues, problems and challenges facing individuals on the autism spectrum. It also provides information about a wide range of treatments, therapies and services used to help them. “The Life that has Chosen Me” – Sung by Karen Taylor Good. A song about autism.




brainstorm     see speak     speech teach     northcott




Experts in the provision of specialist education software


Knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will assist students to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Lighthouse Resources:


Aussiekids software

is your one-stop-shop for children’s computer software, educational apps & computer accessories such as headphones with microphones, children’s computer keyboards, and computer mouse for children. We are proudly Australian-owned & operated!

Smartkids Catalogue

Smart Kids are premier designers of quality educational games and resources which are ideal for the classroom or home.


Center on Human Development and Disability

Within this site is a link to the Autism Centre

The Changing Pattern of Childhood Disability :

A powerpoint highlighting the ‘Implications for Practice and Early Intervention.’  Professor Barry Carpenter OBE Honorary Professor in Early Childhood Intervention, University of Worcester, UK. The first slides deal with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome; Autism is well through the slides.


The Genetics of Autism 

Autism Society of America The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism.

 autism p explained and Researched          classroom strategies                    AUTISM HOMEPAGE                     Legislation & Guidlines          other agencies