Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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Week 3: Identifying and diagnosing autism

Introduction

This week starts with the earliest years of a child’s life, when there may be subtle clues that a child is developing differently. Video clips illustrate what parents notice, and include some parents’ reflections on getting their children diagnosed in the 1960s. The two main current diagnostic systems are introduced, followed by clips providing parental and personal experiences of diagnosis. The week ends with a look at two key challenges for diagnosis: different presentation of autism in females, and diagnosis in world cultures with differing expectations about typical behaviour.

Now watch the video in which Dr Ilona Roth introduces this week’s work.

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By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • describe behaviour in the first 2 years which may provide early indicators of autism
  • appreciate the contributions made by parental accounts
  • recognise internationally used diagnostic criteria and broad principles of diagnostic assessment
  • appreciate different reactions to diagnosis
  • understand challenges to diagnosis posed by gender and cross-cultural differences.

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