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what is autism spectrum disorder

- A group of neurodevelopmental disorders that share common symptoms and functioning across social, cognitive, emotional and language domains.


diagnosis of autism

- Relies on observation of the child’s behaviours
- Checklist and testing of development with diagnostic criteria
- Gathers information from family, child care, other professionals and observations
- *no blood test to confirm
- *no single defining symptom
- *no physical characteristics that are unique.


what's DSM-C criteria for ASD

A. Persistent deficits in social communication
- Deficits in social emotional reciprocity
- Deficits in non-verbal communicative behaviours
- Deficits in developing, maintain and understanding relationships
B. Restricted repetitive patterns of behaviours, interests or activities
- Stereotyped or repetitive motor movement, use of objects or speech
- Insistence on sameness
- Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity of focus
- Hyper or hypo reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspect of the environment
- Eg having to lay out toys in a specific way
C. Symptoms must be present in early childhood but may be masked
- May not fully manifest until later when social demands exceed the limited capacities
D. Symptoms together limit and impair daily functioning
- Difficulties in the following are usually seen in the first two years:
- Social interaction
- Non verbal communication
- Relationships and play
- Restricted interests
- Routines
- Repetitive movements
- Sensory sensitivities


other features of autism but not part of diagnostic criteria

- Gross and fine motor skills
- Sleep
- Sensory processing
- Diet fussy eater
- Organisational skills


causes of autism

- Not fully identified ye
- May be 3-10 genes that are interacting
- Mode of ineritance is not known
- Siblings have igher risk of ASDNeuro development disorder:
- Cortex: exectuvie functions, movement perception, behvaiours
- Basal ganglia: regulate automatic movememtns
- Cerebellum: fine tubes movements, regulates balance and coordination
- Amygdala: emotional repsonses


comobilities of autism

- Intellectual disability (70%)
speech and language disroerds
- Anxiety
- Depression
- Epilepsy
- Asthma and allergies
- Attention disorders
- Developmental coordination disorder
- Down syndrome


boys vs girls ratio of autism

Ratio of boys to girls 4:1


what is sensory processing

The ability to process sensory information in the Central Nervous System (CNS) for adaptive behaviours
Reception, Modulation, Integration and Organisation


what areas of the brain does sensory processing involve

Frontal lobe: reasoning, emotions, judgemtn and voluntarymovement
Temporal lobe: hearing and memory
Occipital lobe: vision and reading abilty
Parietal lobe: sensory integration centers


whats the purpose of sensory process development

- Children learn about their environment through integrated sensory systems eg visual, auditory
- Children learn about their bodies through integrates sensory systems eg tactile, vestibular


whats the standard process of sensory processing

Aquire sensory information
Process the information
Resond to the information
Feedback on how the information was


whats sensory integrations

the biran can relate all sensory inputs into a coherent percept upon which our interaction with the environment is ultimately based


whats the sesnsory threshold

- The level at which one detects and responds to sensory information


what happens if you are below the sensory threshold

= unaware of sensory input therefore no response


what can the sensory threshold be affected by

- Accumulation of sensory over time
- The sensory system is being activated
- Intensity
- Location of input (where is it coming from)
- Anxiety levels


whats responsively

the range within which sensory input is tolerated and used


whats a wider range of tolerance=

more likely the child maintains regulated and adaptive behaviour


whats narrow range of tolerance =

likely to have limited range of behaviours and only bale to perform in a limited number of sensory environments. Eg only able to write story in quiet and calm controlled environment


if the threshold is high

lots of sensory input needed to meet sensory needs


whats the two types of high thresholds (Dunns model)

active high threshold child
passive high threshold chidl


whats an active high threshold child (duns model)

Active attempt to meet for high levels of sensory input


whats a passive high threshold child (duns model)

little attempt to meet need for input


whats the two types of low threhold (Dunns model)

active low threshold (sensory avoiding0)
passive low threshold (over response)


whats active low threshold
(duns model)

actively avoids sensor input to meet sensory needs eg goes to a quiet corner to read


whats passive low threshold (Dunns model)

overwhelmed by sensory input- unable to counteract response


disorder of sensory processing

• When sensory events are processed in such a way that it effects participation in childhood learning and play experiences
• Long term and persistent- NOT TEMPORARY
• When the flow of sensation is disorgnsied life can be a rush hour traffic jam.
Difficulties can coexist with:
- Learning disbailtyies and developmental delays
- Austism spectrum disorder


assessing sensory processing

- Sensory profile 2
- Sensory process measure
- SPM- preschool
- Sensory integration and praxis test
child obsersation


waist sensory profile 2

•  Identify and document how sensory processing may be contributing to or interfering with a child's participation at home, school, and the community.
•  Contribute valuable information to a comprehensive assessment of the child's sensory strengths and challenges in context.
•  Develop effective treatment plans, interventions, and everyday remediation strategies
• Measures: sensory processing, sensory modulation, behaviour and emotional responses


whats the adult sensory profile

divides into 4 areas of processing
sensory seeking
sensory avoiding
sensory sensitivity
low registration


disruptive and useful features of sensory seaking

Distruptive features:
- Avtive
- Fidgety
- Exciable
- Continuously engaging
Useful features:
- Generates ideas
- Notices and enjoys actity in the envrionmet