What is Autism?

Learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder and what to do if you have concerns?

ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder and can sometimes be referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The word ‘spectrum’ describes the range of difficulties that people with autism may experience and the degree to which they may be affected. Every person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is different to another and has their own way of seeing the world, which makes them interesting and unique.
When someone has ASD, it means that their brains are wired differently to other people. However, the symptoms of ASD vary enormously from person to person. Click to find out more.

Listed below are some of the things to watch for as a child grows. If you have concerns please contact us direct.

Developmental Milestones

Expected by the end of 12 months Call us if by end of 12 months
• Watches faces intently, responds to other people’s expressions of emotion • Does not pay attention to or frightened of new faces
• Smiles, imitates some facial expressions, follows moving object with eyes • Does not smile, does not follow moving object with eyes
• Begins to babble, imitates sounds and words, brings hand to mouth • Does not babble, laugh and has difficulty bringing objects to the mouth
• Has single words like “dada”, repeats sounds or gestures for attention • Has no words
• Turns head toward direction of sound, responds to own name • Does not turn head to locate sounds and appears not to respond to loud noises
• Pushes down on legs when feet placed on a firm surface; raises head and chest when lying on stomach • Does not push down on legs when feet placed on a firm surface
• Smiles at mother or primary care-givers voice, prefers them over all others • Does not show affection to primary care-giver, dislikes being cuddled
• Can sit up without assistance, can pull self up to stand, walks holding on to furniture • Does not crawl, cannot stand when supported
• Waves ‘bye-bye’ and points to objects • Does not use gestures such as waving or pointing
By 24 months By 24 months
• Walks alone, with support can negotiate stairs and furniture, carries and pulls toys while walking • Cannot walk by 18 months or walks only on his toes, cannot push a wheeled toy
• Has several single words by 15 to 18 months; uses simple phrases by 24 months • Does not speak; does not imitate actions, cannot follow simple instructions
• Imitates behaviour of others, excited about company of other children • Does not appear to know the function of common household object such as a telephone by 15 months
By 36 months By 36 months
• Uses 4-5 word sentences, understands most sentences and instructions • Very limited speech, does not use short phrases, has difficulty in understanding simple instructions
• Imitates adults and playmates, expresses affection openly, separates easily from parents • Has little interest in other children, has difficulty separating from mother or primary care-giver
• Sorts objects by shape and colour • Difficulty in manipulating small objects
• Plays make believe • Has little interest in ‘make-believe’ play
• Climbs well, runs, kicks a ball, negotiates stairs unaided • Frequently falls, has difficulty with stairs