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What is Autism?

March 25, 2018


According to the DSM-5, Autism is characterised by social communication and behaviour deficits.


1. Social Communication Deficits

(A) Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity:

      - Lack of reciprocal conversations

      - Minimal sharing of interest or emotions with others

      - Failure to initiate to speak, or respond to others


(B) Deficits in non-verbal communicative behaviours used for social interaction:

      - Minimal eye contact

      - Communicates with abnormal non-verbal behaviours

      - Does not understand the use of gestures by others

      - Unable to use appropriate non-verbal gestures while communicating

      - Lack of appropriate facial expressions while communicating


(C) Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships:

      - Have difficulties adjusting behaviour to suit various social contexts

      - Have difficulties in sharing imaginative play

      - Have difficulties in making friends

      - Lack of interest in peers



2. Behaviour Deficits

(A) Stereotyped / repetitive motor movements:

      - Lining up toys

      - Flipping objects

      - Repetitively repeating after what others say

      - Speaks in idiosyncratic phrases


(B) Inflexible & rigid at routines, insistence of sameness:

      - Get extremely upset over small changes

      - Have difficulties in transitions

      - Have very rigid thinking patterns

      - Have inappropriate greeting rituals

      - Need to take the same route or eat same food everyday


(C) Extremely restricted, fixated interests that are inappropriate:

      - Have strong attachments to unusual objects

      - Have restricted and insistent interest


(D) Hyper or hyporeactivity to sensory input / Unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment:

      - Feels indifferent to pain/temperature

      - Reacts aversively to specific sounds or textures

      - Excessive smelling or touching of objects

      - Visual fascination with lights or movement


For more information about autism and the services we provide, please contact us at 03-79570795, email us at enquiry@autism.my or visit our website at www.autism.my.

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