Autism spectrum disorder impacts the nervous system. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely. Common symptoms include difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviours. Early recognition, as well as behavioural, educational and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning.
There is a huge variation in the way that Autism affects a person’s life, from social and relationship issues to daily activities, school and work.
A person with Autism has problems with:
- repetitive behaviour
- sensory issues
Signs and symptoms of Autism
Usually appear in early childhood.
In child you may notice:
- a lack of interest in other children
- not saying any words by age 2
- not making eye contact with you
- not showing you things they find, not pointing or waving goodbye
- repetitive play
- intense, narrow interests
- seeking out sensations
- avoiding sensations
- tantrums or discomfort when a routine changes
- Hand flapping, walking on tip-toe or rocking back and forth.
In an adult you might notice:
- difficulty joining conversations and knowing what to say in social situations
- effort or anxiety in working out what others mean when they are talking
- trouble making friends
- trouble forming or keeping relationships
- intense interest in particular subjects
- Anxiety or depression
In Australia, autism is diagnosed through discussion and assessment by a multidisciplinary team, psychiatrist, psychologist or paediatrician.
Why get a diagnosis?
In children, a diagnosis will:
- allow you to get help with their speech, learning and socialising
- ropen up a range of government and community services to help you and your child
- allow your child’s school to receive government funding
- Help you to understand and learn about your child’s behaviour
For adults a diagnosis may be useful for:
- getting a better understanding of any difficulties you have
- learning useful ways to cope
- finding a community of people who are going through the same thing
- Getting proper treatment for any mental health issues
People with Autism can also have intellectual disability, ADHD, or gastrointestinal issues.
In adulthood, mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder can be common.
Autism can’t be cured. But there are ways to make life easier for someone with Autism and their family. Language skills, socialising and the ability to perform daily tasks can be improved in all children with Autism.
In rare cases, a psychiatrist might prescribe medication to help with extreme self-harm or aggression.
Medication may also be recommended for depression or anxiety.
How Can We Help?
- make a diagnosis of autism alongside a team of other health professionals
- diagnose and treat ADHD, depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder
- prescribe medication if required
- provide referrals to speech therapists, neurologists, paediatricians, occupational therapists and psychologists
At Hellodoc, we have psychiatrists and psychologists who can assess, diagnose, and manage Autism and related conditions.
If you and your loved ones need assessment, please contact us after obtaining a referral from your GP.
The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please speak to your doctor for advice about your situation. HelloDoc is not liable for any consequences arising from relying on this information.