“A recent survey of paediatricians found they often lacked enough information to accurately diagnose an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. ASD is an important diagnosis not to miss. But it is equally important not to make the diagnosis when it is not truly present.
“ASD used to be split into groupings including autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. However, these diagnoses are now collapsed into a single ASD diagnosis with a range of severity along the “spectrum”.
“To be diagnosed on this autistic spectrum, the individual must have difficulties in two areas.
“First, they must have persistent problems in social communication and interaction. This includes deficits in empathy, body language, facial expression and eye contact; and difficulties or lack of interest in social relationships and making friends.”