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What is Autism - Part B

  1. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):

  2. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).

  3. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualised patterns of verbal or nonverbal behaviour (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take the same route or eat the same food every day).

  4. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).

  5. Hyper- or hypo reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

Autism is assessed based on the DSM 5. It has categories from A-E. This is Part B.

Number 1 is about loving the same things a lot - special interests, that you may have researched, collected or talk about.

Number 2 is about 'stimming'. That might be flapping your hands, bouncing, spinning, swinging, jumping. It might also mean saying the same thing or making favourite sounds and noises.

Number 3 is about liking things to stay the same, your routines, food, toys or bedroom for example.

Number 4 means you get stuck or obsessed with something and you don't want to do anything else or talk about anything else. You might like collecting sticks, stones or feathers, and you know each one and can notice if anyone tries to throw a few out.

Number 5 is about being a sensitive person to light, sound, clothing and food. You might find lights too bright at the shops or it might be too noisy or too busy for example. You might cut the tags out of your clothes and only wear certain clothes. You might like sparkles or flashing lights a lot. You might love or hate spicy food, or just have to touch every fluffy soft thing at the shops.

If you are thinking about an assessment you can take the free quiz on the website. There's a free ebook about What To Expect with an Assessment. If you want to make an appointment you can call or email. 9497 1548,

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders - Text Revision. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2022.

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