Tag Archives: Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Question?: Asperger Syndrome Symptoms

David asks…

is it possible borderline personality could exhibit similar symptoms to aspergers syndrome ?

or is aspergers syndrome a different disorder all together ?

would you be able to easily tell if you had aspergers ?

admin answers:

The symptoms for Asperger syndrome and any other autistic spectrum disorder are similar to borderline personality disorders but a professional clinical psychologist would be easily able to tell the difference. Asperger syndrome is a pervasive development disorder so you are born with it and will have it for the rest of your life. It is classified by the triad of impairments, difficulties with social interaction, imagination and communication. You would need a specialist or a psychologist to diagnose you with having Asperger syndrome.

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Question?: Autism Symptoms In Teenagers

Sharon asks…

Without them telling you can can you tell if a teenager/young adult suffers from the following conditions?

1. Autism
2. ADHD
3. Dyslexia
4. Anorexa

You dont have to pick all 4 conditions if you dont want 2. If you just want to pick 1 or 2 then thats fine 🙂

admin answers:

1.sometimes i can tell it really depends on how severe it is. But most of the time i can suspect but i couldnt actally know without meeting them and iinteracting with them and stuff

2 no because symptoms of adhd can all be signs of other things as well. For example some of the signs like inatentiveness and zoning out could actually be explained by a diagnoses of one of the autistic spectrum disorder’s ( autism, asperger’s, ect.) they can also be signs someone just is tired or bored and stuff

3. No how do you know its not some other larning disability or even not an ld at all but alanguage barrier.

4. No you cant tell by just looking

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Question?: Rett Syndrome In Boys

Betty asks…

Supplemental services for Special education Speech , OT, APE?

After 2 1/2 very unsuccessful years of the local school district instructing my special needs child (Autism) and her failing to meet her educational goals, I have decided to not waste anymore time and Homeschool her myself. The down side is that I am being told that if she does not attend their school I will lose all her support services (speech, OT APE) First question is that legal under FAPE? Second question does anyone know of some good materials that I could use to get her services in the above areas I cannot afford private therapy. Moreover, feel stuck….? She is a bright child but needs to be taught to her needs and her method of learning not theirs….

admin answers:

Hello…I went through a similar situation. My 3 y/o daughter has Rett Syndrome (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and she is considered somewhat vulnerable to illness increasing her seizures so decided to hold off on putting her in school. They had no problem with this and had her services come into the home (continued with infant program) and was just written into her IEP. In you daughter’s case it seems like the school program is just not a good fit for her. Is she in ABA? Her IEP needs to be written in a way that WILL teach according to her needs. Has your daughter been tested for Rett Syndrome? I always ask when I seen a girl labeled as autistic because RS is commonly misdiagnosed as autism or CP and is a girl disorder, while autism is a boy disorder. There are ways of teaching my daughter that are different from autistic kids (she is highly social and very gentle) so maybe your daughter doesn’t fit in with other autistic methods of teaching.

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Question?: Treatment For Autism In Adults

Chris asks…

Why is there controversy over the Combating Autism Act? What does it involve?

Autism is not a mental illness, but a neuro-biological disorder. But I’m not sure what category would be best for this question. I hope placing it here in the mental health section does not offend anyone. If it does, I’d like to apologize.

Ok, what exactly is the Combating Autism Act, and why are many parents of Autustic children, and many Autistic adults against it? Will this act find ways to prevent children with this syndrome from being born, or will it simply spread awareness about Autism, and provide treatment so that Autistics can function with more ease in society?

Would this also apply to people with Aspergers? Also, what will this mean for adults who have gone undiagnosed for years, only to find out at 20, 30, and older they have an autistic spectrum disorder? Will they be ostracized even more if Autism is eventually gotten rid of in the future? I’m confused and interested in hearing both sides. Thanks.

admin answers:

The Combating Autism Act is all about diverting funds to research a way to detect autism while the child is in the womb. There already is such a test for cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, and Down Syndrome. I cannot speak for CF or for SB, but I can for the DS. This sounds great, I know! I thought it was at first. My 5 yr old is autistic, and I would have loved to have known in advance that he had it, to have time to prepare, to research, to be more understanding from the start. What I learned though is that after this test for Downs was approved and in place, fewer babies were born with Downs, because the parents chose to abort the babies. A lot of us are seriously against the act because as parents of children with autism, we KNOW that even though our children have serious challenges and life isn’t always fun, our kids are so wonderful! They have moments that just blow you away, and can be so full of love. But, I can guarantee you that parents will not be told this when they test positive, and how unfair is that to abort a child with only hearing the scary, unknown possibilities? I took that stupid test for downs with my youngest child, and it came up positive, although I don’t remember the ‘chance’ they gave, but it was a high chance. I refused to take the amnio, because that can cause miscarriage and babies have been damaged from this. The specialist did everything he could to talk me into aborting my child, because of ‘how difficult it can be to raise a special needs baby’. If I wasn’t strong on my stance I probably would have aborted. How sad is that? My child didn’t have Downs! I found out that that test is not very accurate at all, that there is a high percentage of false positives. So, how many little lives were lost because of one-sided information and fear? It’s our fear that the same exact thing will happen with autism. Thing is, Autism Speaks, one of the biggest fundraisers for autism research, supports the combating autism act, so I don’t support them or any of the other high profile companies. If they would instead focus on testing these children AT BIRTH to determine if they had it, I would give them every dollar I have. But, I cannot and will not support a cause that ‘could’ basically cause a whole ‘type’ of people to be erased from the planet. Here’s a link for you to look at, it’s the one that started opening my eyes.

Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9yFsQm2Bp4

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Question?: Pdd Symptoms

James asks…

Is there a pyschological condition or symptom that means you are unable to detect sarcasm?

I really am so gulible and cannot understand sarcasm for my life. Its so bad! It even gets me in trouble at school with teachers who use sarcasm and i acually follow through with it and they get very angry at me. At the moment i cant find an example but i hope you understand what im talking about.

I have ADHD, which may contribute to the unable to read facial expressions part but seriously is this a condition?

admin answers:

Yes, there is a DSM-IV-TR condition that is a social communication disorder and makes sarcasm, idioms, puns, reading facial expressions all very difficult. Taking things literally is another classic symptom of a PDD. It is an autistic spectrum disorder that is dx autistic disorder 299.00, asperger’s syndrome 299.80 or PDD.NOS (atypical autism)

ADHD/ADD is considered to be part of the autism spectrum according to many neurologists though the DSM-IV-TR hasn’t been updated and many feel its outdated. These disorders do tend to run together (co-morbidities) and in families.

Sometimes when one dx is made (either ADD/HD, or a PDD which is an autisitc spectrum disorder) the other issues are largely ignored resulting in a late dx.

Http://www.asplanet.info
go under AS symptoms/AQ test

This i find pretty indicative, my score is a 42, over 32 is significant for asperger’s syndrome, and an average female score is 15

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Question?: Rett Syndrome In Boys

Carol asks…

Who here has had their families disrupted by an autistic child?

My daughter is almost 9 and we love her very much, but she has become almost too much for the family to handle. She started her 4th different medication this morning, we have tried Ritalin, Adderal, Risperdal (an anti-psychotic) and today Strattera. I am at the doctor with her every month and we still don’t even have a firm autism diagnosis (and they have been working with her for SIX YEARS). She is in special ed. classes year-round in the lowest functioning classroom, and operates at about a 12 month level…I realize as a parent you do what you have to do, but the emotional strain of having a child that does nothing but SCREAM day and night has taken its toll on all of us. I know about respite care but that scares me b/c of the chance someone could be mean to her or molest her or anything like that, and she wouldn’t be able to tell us that it happened. She is very clumsy and has hurt herslef twice this past year, and CPS just LOVES to visit my home and give me grief about it.
As I said we love her very much but the starin has become too much to handle. If anyone has similar experiences I would love to hear your story and make chat for some support…Thanks…Mommy 38 weeks with number 6

admin answers:

Hello…my daughter has an autistic spectrum disorder (Rett Syndrome) and if you haven’t had her tested for this please do! It mostly affects girls as autism mostly affects boys, and girls with it are usually misdiagnosed with autism or CP. Www.rettsyndrome.org

Yes, it is very stressful and has a huge strain on the family. But there are a lot of support groups out there. You always have to be careful about caregivers. I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom and scared to death to EVER leave her alone with anyone. If I do use respite, I will make sure it is a female. My daughter is only 3 and will enter school soon…I will keep a very close eye on them! I will drop in whenever I can unannouced. Why does CPS visit you? I have never even talked to them. What are the meds for?

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Question?: Rett Syndrome Pictures

Carol asks…

what is Rett Syndrome?

admin answers:

Rett Syndrome in a neurodevelomental disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls. They seem to develop normally in the first year of life, then develop poor muscle tone and exhibit strange movements. Part of the clinical picture is very similar to autism, and is it classified as an autistic spectrum disorder. Neuromuscular deterioration continues with contractures, scoliosis and uncontrolled movements called dystonia. A defect in the MECp2 gene on the X chromosome is thought to be the cause of this tragic disorder.

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Question?: Autism Signs And Symptoms

Ken asks…

Can someone explain what autism is to me?

What exactly is autism? What are the different types? What are the characteristics of people who do have autism?

Thanks.

admin answers:

Hi there,

Thank you for your query. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Do visit:- http://www.displaysforschools.com/autism.gif

In short, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-biological condition, the cause of which is not yet fully known. It is generally assumed that autism has complex genetic links combined with environmental triggers. It is a spectrum and people with autism may be mildly or severely affected depending on where in the continuum there conditions lie. Autism has been on epidemic rise, currently affecting 1 in every 166 children. It is generally diagnosed at the age of three.

As for the symptoms, I’ll quote from a contributor named Smart Kat.

“The top three signs of autism are;
1. Social Impairment such as;
a. No eye contact, pointing, or gestures to communicate.
B. Doesn’t show off items. “Look at what I have!” type behaviour, or otherwise share interest or enjoyment with others.

2. Impairments in Communication such as;
a. Delay in, or total lack of speech
b. Or with Asperger’s, marked impairment in the
ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.

3. Repetitive movements, patterns of behavior & interests such as;
a. Hand-flapping, rocking, etc.
B. Obsessions with objects or parts of objects.
C. Prefers to organize or line up items rather than actually “play” with them.
D. Inflexible adherence to routines & rituals. (My niece will throw a fit if the bus driver doesn’t stop at every normal stop even if the child at that particular stop didn’t come to school that day, therefore doesn’t need to be dropped off.

There is not blood test, brain scan, or genetic testing that can determine if a child is autistic. Observation is necessary.”

There already exist at Y!A a number of posts that contain the exactly the same contents of your own query, however. You may like to check the best responses posted there, too.

Best wishes,
Mother of a child with autism.

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Question?: Autistic Disorder

George asks…

Is it possible to have some autistic features without having an autistic spectrum disorder?

I’ve sometimes suspected that I have Asperger syndrome, so yesterday I took an online assessment that was developed by experts at Cambridge University. I scored a 29, which is above average, but I read that people with Asperger syndrome normally have a score of 35 or above. Is it possible to have autistic features without having Asperger syndrome or any of the other autistic spectrum disorders?
I have actually been diagnosed with ADHD.

admin answers:

Yes I believe you can. Actually, I think many people possess at least some small trait of the autistic type, with the probable exception of hard line extroverts. The funny thing is that when circumstances are going well the traits seem to subside and even disappear.

I am [as you may also be] a borderline case, a mild aspie. Most people dont seem to notice as I can cover it pretty well but when someone does, they just seem to put it down to shyness, awkwardness, strangeness, arrogance and/or lack of social confidence.. Which in some respect I guess it probably is. I however never mention it in my daily life.

I think the key for an aspie to coping well in groups, is to initially stick to talking to one individual at a time. Only once a few have been spoken to [particularly the individuals who others look up to]and a connection made, is it [generally speaking] wise to talk to the group as a whole. The more of a challenge this seems to be the more probable you would be an asperger.

I think part of the problem these days is that when people meet up and socialize, there doesnt seem to be much of an aim or goal other than getting someone into bed. This is fine for social animals. I however would feel much more comfortable in a group when there is a clear task to carry out like hunting, planning a protest and generally anything which requires belief, focus and resolve. In fact, in these situations I actually quite like taking a lead role [my father used to be a navy commander].. Im not sure if this is a feature of classic aspergers.. Sorry about going off on tangents about ME.. I might start to look a little arrogant ..again, sorry.

Getting back to the question, my guess is that you are just about where the test tells you you are. Not aspergic but with some mild features. I have not done that particular test myself, but any one that I have taken I come out almost exactly about the cutoff point [35 in this case].. Although I have to admit some of those tests are a little difficult to do accurately and purely honestly as one can sometimes have the mindset either to prove or disprove that they have it.

As for ADHD I know very little about it. All I know is that when I fell asleep in class I put it down to boring subjects and teachers.. I dont doubt the doctors diagnosis but reckon that aspergers has some similar traits. I only study something if I see it as value and not just for the piece of paper that the college gives me after, if you know what I mean. People with that condition often suffer in the education system, even though they may be very clever. But in the end of the day whatever syndromes and disorders we and others label us with, weve all still got the chance to really succeed, most importantly in our own eyes.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale

Daniel asks…

URGENT I would like some further information on Autistic spectrum disorders?

It’s for a friend-her child has 10 hour paddys-Is only good at school,but a nightmare everywhere else-She doesn’t understand what you tell her-She is repetative even if you aggree with her-even when she’s doing something fun she carries on-She uses a lot of baby talk-Hits her Mum,Steals and has told her Mum that she wants to kill herself-She thumps kicks and hits her Mum-Says she hates her Mum and has tried to push the baby’s pram over.
Her Mum has been everywhere for help and has been told that she’s not assertive enough-
Her Mum is assertive and has 2 other children that are fine.
It’s been suggested that it could be on the autistic spectrum but she doesn’t know what this is.
The Mum is having so much trouble getting help and has been trying for 5 years to get someone to listen.
You can’t reason with the child she expects everything to be done for her.My friend can’t even get dressed without her daughter wanting her to do something for her.
The little girl is 7
And is only good at school but bad for everyone else and steals from shops-My friend can’t cope anymore

admin answers:

The detection of learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in their formative years is vital. As a teacher you are an important role player in this essential early detection.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is not the result of bad parenting and these children do not choose to misbehave.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is a complex and variable pervasive developmental disability, which stems from a multi-factorial origin and results in disordered brain development and function.

Estimates of prevalence vary greatly. Recent small scale, but intensive studies give higher numbers than earlier ones, this being due to the criteria for autistic disorders having been considerably widened over the years. The highest estimates for the whole spectrum, range from around 40 to around 90 per 10 000 births, but the true figures are still being investigated. ASD affects 4 times as many boys as girls. Of all the developmental disorders, ASD is the most researched and validated syndrome.

The onset of ASD is from birth or before the age of 3 years. Various subgroups are referred to within the autistic spectrum disorders. The ICD 10 system (International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, World Health Organisation, 1992) and the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, American Psychiatric Association, 1994) suggests some subgroups, the best known of which are “childhood autism / early infantile autism” and “Asperger Syndrome” There is a fair amount of academic argument concerning the criteria differentiating these subgroups. However, in clinical practice, the most helpful approach to diagnosis is to establish if the child concerned, has an autistic spectrum disorder and then to provide information concerning their present level of varying abilities. This type of detail is far more useful for identifying a person’s needs, rather than just putting him or her in a diagnostic subgroup.

As yet the exact causes of ASD are unknown, but intensive research is being implemented on an ongoing basis. With the appropriate intervention, learners on the Autistic Spectrum can be helped to improve their quality of life.

Although learners with ASD present with many different levels of severity and also display a wide range of individual characteristics, they are all affected by the “Triad of Impairments”. This triad is typically associated with a narrow, repetitive pattern of activities and resistance to change in things that directly affect the individual concerned and manifests with an impairment in the quality of development ( see Triad of Impairments)

In addition to this Triad of Impairments, you may well observe the following additional features:-

Little or no eye contact;

No real fear of dangers;

Abnormalities in the development of cognitive skills, e.g. Poor learning skills or resistance to normal teaching methods;

Abnormalities of posture and motor behaviour, e.g. Poor balance;

Poor gross and fine motor skills in some learners;

Odd responses to sensory input, e.g. Covering of ears;

Sense of touch, taste, sight, hearing and/or smell may be heightened or diminished;

Bizarre eating patterns – food fads;

High pain threshold;

Crying or laughing for no apparent reason;

Self-injurious behaviour, e.g. Head banging, scratching, biting;

Abnormal sleep patterns.

Children with ASD usually have accompanying learning difficulties. The range of intellectual abilities amongst children with ASD is vast. The presence of additional disorders such as epilepsy, sensory and intellectual impairments can co-exist with ASD.

Remember that ASD can vary widely and there is no single feature that, if not present, excludes the possibility of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Should you think that a child in your class may displaying Autistic Spectrum Disorder, we advise you to discuss this matter with his or her parent.-

For additional information, we have also listed varying International Organisations involved with Autistic Spectrum Disorder:

National Autistic Society – United Kingdom
393 City Road. London EC1V 1NE. England
Tel: 0944 20 7833 2299 Fax: 0944 20 7833 9666
E-mail:
Website: http://www.oneworld.org/autism_uk/

Autism Europe
Avenue E. Van Becelaere 26b. Bte 21. B-1170. Bruxelles. Belgique.
Tel: + 32 2 675 75 05 Fax: + 32 2 675 72 70.
E-mail: autisme.europe@arcadis.be
Website: http://www.autismeurope.arc.be

Autism Society of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue. Suite 650. BETHESDA. MD 20814. USA
Tel: 091 800 328 8476. Fax: 091 301 657 0869
Website: http://www.autism-society.org/

Autism Research Institute
4182 Adams Avenue. SAN DIEGO. CA 92116. USA
Tel: 091 619 281 7165. Fax: 091 619 563 6840.
Web site: http://www.autism.com/ari

Autism Society of North Carolina
This organisation has an extensive list of publications.
505 Oberlin Road, Suite 230. Raleigh. NC 27605-1345. USA.
Tel: 091 919 743 0204. Fax: 091 919 743 0208
Website. Http://www.autismsociety-nc.org

Guidelines for teaching a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

If you have a child in your class who has been diagnosed with ASD, there are certain guidelines that may assist you with that child’s individual educational plan.

Essential areas need to be addressed. The teaching methods should focus on the child’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. The strengths usually are visual skills and rote learning. The weaknesses are usually the ability to process language and the ability to provide their own structure and organisation.

The two most frequent causes of stress and behavioural difficulties are first lack of a simple, clear, understandable, predictable structure to each day and second, pressure to perform above the child’s level of ability.

Children and adults with ASD, whatever their level of ability, find it hard to comprehend time and space and how they fit into the world. Their impairment of imagination prevents them from building up an inner story about themselves. It is difficult for people who are not familiar with ASD to understand the nature of such problems. For example, some of the more disabled individuals become distressed if taken for a walk away from their familiar environment, because no-one realised the necessity of explaining to them that, at the end of the walk, they will be returning to the place they know.

One important way to help a person with ASD is to provide external structure to make up for the lack of a coherent inner world. They need to know where they are in time and space. They need to be given simple concrete guides to the world, such as picture timetables. They can manage change as long as it is not unexpected and they are carefully prepared in ways that they can understand.

The below list covers strategies that maybe beneficial when teaching a child with ASD:-

Avoid verbal overload, irrespective of the person’s apparent level of language ability;

Use visual cues and prompts;

Prepare the child for changes in routine;

Provide structure, using a visual schedule of daily activities, such as photos, pictograms, representational objects;

Give the child individualised instruction, do not rely on their comprehension of directions which are aimed at the class as a whole;

Minimise visual and auditory distractions;

Be aware that an increase in inappropriate behaviour may be an indicator of stress or frustration;

A child with ASD may take longer to learn new skills and you may feel you are not getting anywhere and that you are wasting your time. Do not give up, please be patient and persevere and you will be rewarded!

Toys and activities which maybe beneficial for the child with ASD.

Children with ASD seem to prefer toys that involve visual/spatial aspects, such as jigsaw puzzles, construction toys, shape and colour matching etc. Computer games may also be very beneficial to a child with ASD.

Children’s videos with a definite visual story, as opposed to reliance on the verbal aspect may be thoroughly enjoyed by children with ASD.

Physical activity is important for the child with ASD, but these activities must not rely on verbal input or the use of imagination. Physical activity has been found to diminish inappropriate behaviours and has the added benefit of improving motor co-ordination. Supervision of a child with ASD in the playground is essential, as the child with ASD often has no real sense of danger.

Recommended Publications:

Lorna Wing;The Autism Spectrum: A guide for Parents and Professionals (Highly recommended). Published by Constable, 1996.

Maureen Aarons and Tessa Gittens;The Handbook of Autism: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Practical approach, providing easy reading and “digestible” information. Published by Routledge, 1992 (reprinted 1994).

Lorna Wing; Autistic Spectrum Disorders: An Aid to Diagnosis. Gives a good insight into the criteria for diagnosis of autism. Published by The UK National Autistic Society, 1993.

Paul Dickinson and Liz Hannah; It Can Get Better: A Guide For Parents and Carers. A light hearted, practical approach for dealing with common behaviour problems in children with autism. Published by The UK National Autistic Society.

Uta Frith; Autism: explaining the enigma. Published by Oxford: Blackwell, 1989

Maureen Aarons & Tessa Gittens; The autistic continuum: an assessment and intervention schedule for investigating the behaviours, skills and needs of children with autism or autistic spectrum difficulties. Published: Windsor: NFER-Nelson, 1992

Edited by Eric Schopler, Mary Van Bourgondien & Marie Bristol. Preschool issues in autism. Published: New York: Plenum, 1993

Edited by Eric Schopler & Gary Mesibov. Social behaviour in autism. Published: New York, Plenum, 1986

Stuart Powell and Rita Jordan (Eds). Autism and Learning: A Guide to Good Practise. Published: London: David Fulton Publishers Ltd. 1997

R/L Koegel, A. Rincover & A.L Egel. Educating and understanding autistic children. Published: San Diego: College Hill Press, 1982

Tony Attwood. Why does Chris do that? Published: London, NAS, 1993

Eric Schopler & Gary Mesibov. Communication problems in autism. NAS.

Tony Attwood. Asperger’s Syndrome. A Guide for Parents and Professionals. This book covers the topic of Asperger’s Syndrome. Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1998.

Lorna Wing; Asperger’s Syndrome: A Clinical Account.This book covers the topic of Asperger’s Syndrome from a more clinical viewpoint.Published by The Journal of Psychological Medicine, 1992.

Uta Frith; Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Published: Cambridge. CUP, 1991

Edited by Eric Schopler & Gary Mesibov. High Functioning individuals with autism. Published: New York. Plenum, 1992

A certain amount of material included in this brochure is chiefly taken from a paper written by Dr Lorna Wing, Consultant at the Centre for Social and Communication Disorders. It has been reproduced with the kind permission of Dr Lorna Wing and the National Autistic Society, United Kingdom, who published this paper in their quarterly magazine, “Communication”, edition Winter 1998.

References:

“Classification and diagnosis – looking at the complexities involved”-Dr Lorna Wing.
“Communication” Winter 1998;The National Autistic Society, England.
The autistic spectrum – a parent’s guide;The National Autistic Society, England.
Autism: Bibliography. A guide to books and videos;The National Autistic Society, England.
The Autism Spectrum. A guide for Parents and Professionals;Dr Lorna Wing.
Developing a Broad and Balanced Curriculum; Mrs Margaret M Golding. Autism The Way Forwards RSA. September 1998.
Autism: How to help your young child; Leicestershire County Council and Fosse Health Trust. ISBN 1 899280 65 0

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