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 ⇒ Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care ⇒ Level 4 Diploma Optional Units ⇒ Unit 378 Understand how to support individuals with autistic spectrum conditions ⇒ 1.3 Explain the meanings of the term ‘spectrum’ in relation to autism by reference to the notions of sub-conditions and individual variation within the autistic spectrum

1.3 Explain the meanings of the term ‘spectrum’ in relation to autism by reference to the notions of sub-conditions and individual variation within the autistic spectrum

Qualification: Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care Optional Units
Unit: Unit 378 Understand how to support individuals with autistic spectrum conditions
Learning outcome: 1. Understand the main characteristics of autistic spectrum conditions
Assessment criteria: 1.3 Explain the meanings of the term ‘spectrum’ in relation to autism by reference to the notions of sub-conditions and individual variation within the autistic spectrum

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  • Autism is a ‘spectrum’ disorder, which means there are a wide variety of signs, symptoms and behaviours and that two individuals with autism can be wildly different from one another in terms of the types and severity of difficulties that they experience
  • The IDC-10 (International Classification of Diseases Version 10) recognises different forms or sub-conditions of autism, including:
    • Asperger’s Syndrome is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and repetitive behaviours, but there are no delays to language or cognitive development that are present in other forms of autism
    • Childhood Autism is diagnosed by the presence of impaired development before age three, difficulties in social communication and social interaction, and repetitive/restricted/stereotyped behaviour.
    • Atypical Autism is diagnosed when an individual has impaired development after age three, and there are no difficulties in all three areas (communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviours)
  • Version 5 of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) moved all previous sub-diagnoses of autism under the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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