Communication Eloquent but Inarticulate

In addition to social difficulties, autism spectrum disorders usually involve communication problems. In fact, the most prominent feature of classic autism, at least in the minds of most people, is the inability to speak. What is less well understood is that even those with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism experience some difficulties with communication. This, it turns out, is one of the most confusing parts of the diagnostic puzzle and often leads to misdiagnoses when the child is...

Who Is Qualified to Diagnose Autism Spectrum Conditions

The types of professionals most often making such diagnoses are psychologists and psychiatrists, particularly those trained in childhood disorders. Other types of doctors, such as neurologists, pediatricians, and general practitioners (sometimes called family practice doctors), may also see your child for a diagnostic evaluation. Additionally, social workers are trained in the diagnostic process and how to use the DSM-IV, so they are qualified to make diagnoses. Other professionals, such as...

Strategies for Teaching Social Skills Outside the Clinic

Earlier we stressed the importance of addressing social issues in a group setting, since this is where social problems usually arise, and thus this is where your child needs to practice social behavior. We also emphasized that you should practice and support your child's emerging social abilities at home whenever possible and that social skills training in a clinic alone would not do much good. In the following sections, we describe a variety of resources and techniques for working on social...