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8. What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to make sense of the world and relate with others. Autism comes from ‘autos’, the Greek word for ‘self’, and a person with Autism is often referred to as someone who lives in a world of his own.

What Causes Autism?

Although there are many theories, no one fully knows the definitive answer to this question. Research shows that Autism can be caused by a variety of conditions that affect brain development, which may occur before, during or after birth. 
While the cause or combination of causes of Autism is not fully understood, research suggests a biological correlation affecting the parts of the brain that process language and information coming in from the senses. Other research findings suggest that there may be an imbalance in certain chemicals in the brain. Genetic factors may sometimes be involved in certain families.
In reality, what we know is that Autism may develop from a combination of several causes.

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism, a condition that affects the way a person makes sense of the world and relates to others. A number of traits of Autism are common to Asperger’s Syndrome including:-
          • 1). Difficulties in communicating,
            2). Social relationships, and
            3). Lack of social imagination or creative play.

            Persons with Asperger’s Syndrome usually have fewer difficulties with language than those with classical Autism, often speaking fluently, though their words can sometimes sound formal or ‘unusual’ to the listener. Even though they have few difficulties with language, they do have significant difficulties with social aspects of communication.
            Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome are able to adapt to learning in a mainstream school setting. With the right support and encouragement, they are able to make good progress and go on to further education and employment options.
  • Recognising Autism

  • Autism can be diagnosed within the first three years of life. It is four times more common in boys than in girls. However, certain presentations of Autism may not be diagnosed until a child enters primary school, where the main presenting issues may involve difficulty with social interaction and anxiety. 
  • To be given a diagnosis of Autism, a person must present with a ‘triad’ of clinical characteristics in the following areas:-

    1). Social Impairment (Social Interaction)
    2), Communication Impairment (Social Communication)
    3). Impairment in Flexibility of Thinking (Flexibility & Imagination)
  • In addition to the triad of behaviours that characterises Autism, other reasons for behaviours commonly associated with the disorder are:-
    1). Cognitive Learning Style
    2). Sensory
    3). Medical
    4). Special Interests
    5). Likes and Dislikes
  • Does my Child have Autism?
  • Diagnosis
    The diagnosis of autism requires careful assessment by an expert team of qualified professionals. The team is commonly made-up of a developmental paediatrician, psychologist, speech-language therapist and an occupational therapist.
    The diagnostic process is usually concerned with determining the:-
    1). Presence of unusual developmental features such as repetitive movements, rigidity or inflexibility, sensory problems, 
  • 2). Absence of usual developmental features such as social intuition and behaviour, interest in people, imaginative play, and language,
  • 3). Co-Occurring conditions such as seizures, anxiety.

    A comprehensive assessment will lead to a definitive diagnosis and recommend suitable therapy or programmes for your child.
    You can seek help at hospitals such as KK Hospital, National University Hospital, Child Guidance Clinic, or approach any private psychologists.
  • Older individuals may also seek help from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital or Institute of Mental Health.
  • Engaging a Therapist Tutor

  • A good Therapist tutor will encourage and motivate the student towards better understanding in learning the Chinese language. It is wise to engage a good Therapist tutor to provide the necessary tuition besides the child attending the normal classes in school.
    The process of finding a good Therapist tutor or teacher for your child is to fill a “Request-Tutor Form” online. We would then call you for further details before our coordinator starts the search from our data-base.
    Request for Home Tutor
  • To engage a private home tutor, please submit the "Request for Tutor Form" or Call us : Mobile: 9385-5548 for Assistance. We also accept voicemail, texts, What'sApp, email if you want us to call you. We will find a suitable home tutor for you. Feel free to browse the links on this site for more information.

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Ten Early Signs of Autism


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