Diagnostic Criteria For ASD

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that is characterised by impairments in social communication, repetitive or stereotypical behaviours, and limited range of interests (Anagnoustou et al. 2014). These symptoms are often evident from early childhood and vary between individuals in their severity and influence on everyday functioning. This continuum of symptoms of ASD is reflected in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a revision from previous diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV, which identified four separate disorders in association with autism-related symptoms (DSM5, 2013). Another important aspect of the new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ASD is the condition…show more content…
For example, earlier diagnosis must be able to show stability over time, as the first years of a child’s life are still periods of rapid and irregular growth and development (Steiner, Goldsmith, Snow & Chawarska, 2012). Prospective studies provide some understanding on this issue by showing both short term and long-term stability of diagnosis in the third and fourth years of age when children are initially diagnosed at two years of age (e.g. Chawarska, Klin, Paul & Volkmar, 2007). However, diagnosis earlier than 12 months remains a challenge despite the observed social, cognitive and language delays and as such reliable diagnostic procedures are yet to be determined (Steiner, Goldsmith, Snow & Chawarska,…show more content…
Evidently, there is a scarcity in the availability of ASD-specialised intervention programs specifically for infants and toddlers younger than two years. One such proposed intervention currently in progress is the Early Start Denver Model (Dawson & Rogers, 2008) that aims to address the distinctive requirements of children with ASD from as early as 12 months. The program utilises a combination of an ABA approach along with a developmental and relationship based approach that is then delivered in the child’s natural environment. A recent randomised controlled trial of the Early Start Denver Model in a sample of 48 children aged 18-30 months in age revealed that children showed improvements in IQ and adaptive skills (Brookman-Frazee, 2010). However, as the program is relatively new further research is required to fully infer efficacy of the program in infants and
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