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Decoding Autism

Did you know? There are over 25,000 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Hong Kong. As we celebrate #AutismAcceptanceMonth, let’s look at what Autism is 👇

There use to be various classifications on the “severity” of Autism, such as Aspergers (referring to a high functioning group). However, these terminologies are no longer used clinically and are all diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 🧠 So what exactly is Autism? Generally, it’s a developmental disability that causes social, communication and behavioural challenges.

How do I detect it?

Children with ASD often show weaker communication skills compared to those at their age. They may also repeat certain behaviour (e.g. lining up cars), have narrow interests and activities. They may also show signs of sensory processing disorder. 

Here are some general signs of ASD in early childhood

  • Not responding to name (by 12 months)
  • Does not engage in pretend play (by 18 months)
  • Does not point to objects (by 14 months)
  • Appear to be unaware of people talking to them, but respond to other sounds
  • Have obsessive interest (e.g. counting repeatedly)
  • Avoid cuddling
  • Weak eye contact
  • Repeat words and phrases excessively
  • Does not answer questions or gives unrelated answers

 

To regulate behaviour, improve cognitive ability and independency, early intervention and professional help is the key! Providing a supportive environment and accepting these differences is equally important! Celebrate every small win will help your child feel loved and supported – the most important ingredient out of all!

 

We have a wide range of pretend play toys to help children build their social and communication skills. Play-based therapies are one of the most effective ways for young children in their early years, check it out here