Autism is characterised by impairments in three key areas, known as the triad of impairments. Children will display elements of the triad of impairments to a varying degree.
- Lack of communication or difficulty in communicating, unintelligible speech or echolalia ( repeating words, phrases or entire conversations), difficulty expressing needs.
- Lack of social interaction, difficulty understanding social cues, unable to understand facial expressions.Children may also have trouble in group situations, respond negatively to crowds and be unable to mix well with other children.
- Stereotyped and restrictive patterns of behaviour or self-stimulatory behaviours (hand flapping, vocal utterances, etc) Children may have a desire for “sameness” – the same daily schedule,toys,food etc.