Autism spectrum disorder

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Information about the characteristics and causes of autism, how it is diagnosed and the treatments involved.

Key points

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a specific set of behavioural and developmental problems and challenges that is unique to each child.
  • There are some characteristics you can look for if you suspect your child has ASD.
  • There is no specific known cause for ASD. Current research suggests there is a genetic basis to ASD.
  • Diagnosing ASD is done through observation, talking to the parents and using standardized assessment tools.
  • There is no medical cure for ASD. Treatments can include various therapies and sometimes medication.
Last updated: March 24th 2011