Introduction

We briefly looked at ASD and ASD-like characteristics in Module 1 Background. This module will take things a little further. It has been developed to look a little more closely at ASD, some of the particular behaviours common to those with ASD, and some specific strategies to support the management of those behaviours. It will then outline some more general strategies to support the delivery of a PlayConnect program.

Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a lifelong developmental condition that affects the way individuals relate to their environment and the way they interact with others. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because the range and severity of symptoms experienced by people with ASD varies considerably. While everyone ‘on the spectrum’ faces challenges with social skills, communication, and behaviour, no two people present in exactly the same way.

The ABS estimates that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1% of Australian children. In 2012, this equated to thirty-nine thousand Australian children (0-9yrs) with a confirmed ASD diagnosis (ABS data 2012). Australian children typically receive their diagnosis between 4-5 years of ages, and of note, roughly 80% of those diagnosed with ASD are male.