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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?


Autism spectrum disorder is part of the set of neurodevelopmental disorders described in the DSM-V. It is characterized by significant difficulties in two areas: communication and social interactions, and restricted or repetitive behaviors, activities and interests.Autism Spectrum Disorder is usually present in early childhood, but may appear more prominently at the time of entry to school. It is a state that manifests itself differently among people.The ASD is the name that replaces invasive developmental disorders since 2013. Learn more about the old classification.



Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by significant difficulties in two areas: communication and social interactions, and restricted or repetitive behaviors, activities, and interests.


The clinical picture can vary greatly from one person to another. Each has a unique combination of signs and symptoms. The degree of impairment is different according to age, cognitive and behavioral characteristics and the presence of associated conditions. Events can also change over time. People with autism represent such a heterogeneous group that it is often said that there is as much autism as people with autism.

Communication and social interactions


There are persistent difficulties of absence or lack of social reciprocity. Between not paying attention to each other and not knowing how to initiate an interaction, multiple manifestations are possible. Difficulties are also present in nonverbal communication. For example, it is often complex for an autistic person to understand what is implied in the intonation used by the interlocutor or in his raised eyebrows. Moreover, the implicit rules of social interactions are not instinctively acquired, social relations may not be appropriate for the age of the person.

Behaviors, activities and interests restricted or repetitive


In some people with autism, it can be seen that the interests may be few, but very developed. One often notices repetitive activities or behaviors such as strange manipulation of objects (aligning or twirling them), unusual movements of the body (swaying, twisting or clapping), and so on. Changes can cause significant distress accompanied by often sudden and excessive emotional reactions. Repetitive activities have a reassuring effect because of their familiarity.

In the autism spectrum disorder, the symptoms represent a continuum that ranges from mild to severe.The degree of severity, specifies the need for support of the person and has three levels which is as follows: 1. Requires support, 2. Requires significant support, 3. Requires very important support.

The symptoms must be present since early childhood, but they can also manifest themselves fully with increasing social demands.They limit and alter daily operation.

This classification model makes it possible to have a more accurate portrait of the person with autism and to make a more precise diagnosis. By stating the difficulties of the person and identifying their needs, service responses should be more functional.



Some clues may arise and prompt an evaluation.Those who are identified with a * occur early, between 1 and 2 years of age:

• do not babble, do not point or do not communicate at 1 year *
• does not answer the call of his name *
• sometimes seems to be deaf *
• do not try to imitate *
• rarely makes eye contact *
• do not smile *
• does not show the objects to the other *
• loses language or social skills *
• hardly establish contact with others, seems indifferent to others
• seems to prefer to be alone
• does not ask for help directly
• resists caresses
• bursts out laughing for no apparent reason
• Tears, tantrums or becomes distraught without knowing why • Resists routine changes
• is fascinated by objects that turn around
• indulges in obsessive games (eg alignment of objects) or repetitive games
• does not seem to know how to play with toys
• do not fear the real dangers
• wears an excessive attachment to objects



The evaluation tools used prior to the DSM-V are not comprehensive enough if used individually. The ADOS-2 is better suited, but the use of several tools is preferred. In all cases, you must also observe the person in different contexts.

The causes


The cases are not yet the subject of a consensus. Genetic and environmental causes are suspected.

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Our objective :

"Provide psychopedagogical support for autistic children."