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IntroductionAutism Spectrum Disorder ASD is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects certain parts of the central nervous system Attwood 2006 Barbaro Ridgway et al 2011 Dodd 2005 Volkmar Lord 1998 Wetherby Prizant 2000 Children with ASD are characterised by impairments in communication and social interaction and restricted andor repetitive patterns of behaviour interests and activities American Psychiatric Association APA 2000 APA 1987 as cited in Schopler Van Bourgondien et al 1993 Barbaro Ridgway et al 2011 Hill Frith 2003 Therefore the learning capabilities of a child with ASD can also be impacted as certain areas of the brain are responsible for communication and some cognitive functions can be affected Amaral Schumann et al 2008 Dodd 2005 Keating Spence et al 2002 Wetherby Prizant 2000 This paper will explore ASD in children aged 6 to 12-years-old and effects it has on important areas of development so challenges and learning needs can be understood A discussion of the problems associated with acquiring specific life skills for children with ASD will follow subsequently Overview of ASDASD is a pervasive developmental disorder which comes under an umbrella term that refers to a range of conditions that share common characteristics such as autistic disorder and Aspergers syndrome APA 2000 Attwood 2006 Barbaro Ridgway et al 2011 Dodd 2005 Volkmar Lord 1998 Wetherby Prizant 2000 Historically Kanner 1943 described autism as three core features i impairments in reciprocal social interaction ii an abnormal development and use of language iii and repetitive ritualised behaviours and a narrow range of interest Amaral Schumann et al 2008 p 137 APA 2000 APA 1987 as cited in Schopler Van Bourgondien et al 1993 Barbaro Ridgway et al 2011 In addition to the core features of autism neurological difference are also present Akshoomoff nd as cited in Wetherby Prizant2000 DiCicco-Bloom et al 2006 as cited in Amaral and Schumann
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