Autism spectrum disorder is a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.
According to DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published in 2013), the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder include:
- Communication difficulties
- Social deficits
- Repetitive behaviours
Each individual with autism presents a different severity in different combinations of above characteristics. Some might be more severe in communications but have little difficulties in social interaction. Some might have overwhelming sensory issues that they could not control.
With more information and researches published in autism, more and more are diagnosed in earlier age. Some might have autism but not knowing until their adulthood.
Early intervention can help children learn to cope with difficulties autism brings. Modern technology such as augmentative and alternative communication devices have helped many with communication difficulties to express and be understood. Skill development programs and behavioural therapies also help individuals with autism to progress in life.