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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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6 Summary

This week has considered clues to autism in early childhood, highlighting subtle differences from typical development which parents tend to notice. After introducing the diagnostic criteria and diagnostic process, the focus moved to parents’ and individuals’ experiences of diagnosis, considering both the positives and the negatives. Finally, the week considered the likelihood that girls are being underdiagnosed because their behaviour does not match autism stereotypes, and the challenges of diagnosis in cross-cultural settings.

You should now 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.

Next week you will look at psychological and biological explanations for autism.

Now you can go to Week 4 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .