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- Dr.C.S.N.Vittal
In 2008, The United
Nations General
unanimously declared
2 April as
World Autism
Awareness Day

"On World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to promote the full
participation of all people with autism, and ensure they have the necessary support to be
able to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.”

- Secretary-General António Guterres

• World Autism Awareness Day
(WAAD) aims to put a spotlight
on the hurdles that people with
autism – and others living with
autism – face every day.

• World Autism Awareness Day

goes one step further to
celebrate the unique talents of
those with autism, while putting
a huge focus on the warm
embrace and welcome that these
skills deserve through community
events around the globe.
Autism is a lifelong
neurological condition that
manifests during early
childhood, irrespective of
gender, race or socio-
economic status.

• According to the Centers for

Disease Control, autism affects
an estimated 1 in 59 children
in the United States today.
ASDs are conditions in
which people have
difficulty developing
normal social
relationships, use
language abnormally or
not at all, and behave in
compulsive and
ritualistic ways
DSM V Classification
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Old DSM IV Classification
• Classic autism : Removed from social interaction &
• Asperger syndrome: High functioning
• Childhood disintegrative disorder: Late onset,
normal initially, lose skills between 2-10 yrs
• Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise
specified: catch all category

There is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination
of genetic and environmental factors.
Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct
set of strengths and challenges.
Autism Core Symptoms

1. social communication challenges and

2. restricted, repetitive behaviors.

In autism, these symptoms

• begin in early childhood (though they may
go unrecognized)
• persist and
• interfere with daily living.
1 – Social Communication Challenges
• Children and adults with autism have difficulty with verbal and
non-verbal communication.
For example, they may not understand or appropriately use:
• Spoken language (around a third of people with autism are nonverbal)
• Gestures
• Eye contact
• Facial expressions
• Tone of voice
• Expressions not meant to be taken literally
1 – Additional Social Challenges
• Recognizing emotions and intentions in others
• Recognizing one’s own emotions
• Expressing emotions
• Seeking emotional comfort from others
• Feeling overwhelmed in social situations
• Taking turns in conversation
• Gauging personal space (appropriate distance
between people)
2 – Restricted and repetitive behaviors
• Repetitive body movements (e.g. rocking,
flapping, spinning, running back and
• Repetitive motions with objects (e.g.
spinning wheels, shaking sticks, flipping
• Narrow or extreme interests in specific
• Need for unvarying routine/resistance to
change (e.g. same daily schedule, meal
2 – Restricted and repetitive behaviors
• Staring at lights or spinning objects
• Ritualistic behaviors (e.g. lining up objects,
repeatedly touching objects in a set order)
• Narrow or extreme interests in specific topics
• Need for unvarying routine/resistance to change
(e.g. same daily schedule, meal menu)
First Concerns to Action Roadmap

• Indicators of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some

associated development delays can appear even earlier,
and often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months.
• Research shows that early intervention leads to
positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.
• Learning the signs, examining child’s developmental
milestones, and getting an evaluation and treatment as
early as possible can make a lifetime of difference.
What are the signs of autism?

• Some infants show hints in their first months. In others, behaviors

become obvious as late as age 2 or 3.
• Not all children with autism show all the signs. Many
children who don’t have autism show a few. That’s why professional
evaluation is crucial.
• If your child exhibits any of the following, ask your pediatrician or
family doctor for an evaluation right away:
• Few or no big smiles or other warm,
joyful and engaging expressions
• Limited or no eye contact
• Little or no
back-and-forth sharing of
sounds, smiles or other
facial expressions
• Little or no babbling
• Little or no back-and-forth
gestures such as pointing,
showing, reaching or
• Little or no response to
• Very few or no meaningful, two-word
phrases (not including imitating or
At any age

• Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills

• Avoidance of eye contact
• Persistent preference for solitude
• Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
• Delayed language development
• Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)
• Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings
• Restricted interests
• Repetitive behaviors (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)
• Unusual & intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights or colors
Modified Checklist
for Autism in
Toddlers, Revised
Early interventions
Early interventions
• Dr.C.S.N.Vittal