The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice
The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

2.5 Section summary

  • Diagnosis is a complex process that plays an important role in identifying individual therapeutic and educational needs, and in placing theoretical research on a sound footing.

  • The diagnostic approach involves the description of autism in terms of symptoms, and is primarily focused at the level of observable behaviour.

  • The characteristics of ASDs are summarised within formal systems of diagnostic criteria, such as the DSM-IV-TR™ and the ICD-10.

  • For a diagnosis of classic autism, a person must show a specified number and pattern of difficulties in each of the triad areas, and certain key difficulties must have appeared before 36 months.

  • Many people with autism have additional cognitive difficulties, while some have special skills, and a few have outstanding talents.

  • The diagnostic approach has theoretical and practical benefits, but also reflects ethical issues that are difficult to resolve.

DSE232_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus