Autism spectrum disorder


AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) is a condition related to brain development.

The first signs generally appear at an early age, but it may not become obvious until the child attends school or daycare.

Autism spectrum disorders most often affect boys; girls are more difficult to diagnose.




Social communication and
social interactions.

Examples include:

Absence of reciprocity, being in one’s ‘bubble’, paying no attention to others.

Limited sharing of interests and emotions.

Difficulty understanding and using nonverbal cues, making eye contact with others.

Tendancy to take everything at face value.

Movements: fidgeting or twisting fingers or hands, body swaying, etc.

Organizing things: lining up objects, spinning toy cars wheels, non-stop opening and closing of doors, etc

Language: continuously asking questions and repeat words.


Limited and repetitive aspects of behaviours, interests, and activities. 


Other characteristics

Behavioural rigidity : the need for things to be set in stone, inflexible adherence to routines or sequences of behaviours, including stress when schedule or activities are changed.

Sensory atypia : can be hyper or hypo reactivity to sounds, textures, smells, or visual stimulations.


‘In class, I find it hard to adapt to changes in routine: when the timetable is changed or an unexpected activity is proposed, I get so anxious that I freeze up and can’t concentrate.

When we do group exercises, I don’t always understand my classmates’ non-verbal cues, so it’s hard for me to fit in.

I have narrow interests and prefer to concentrate on specific subjects, so it’s true that I’m less receptive to the more general content offered in class.

I also have repetitive behaviors, such as rocking back and forth or tapping objects. Despite my best efforts, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by these social and behavioral challenges, which affect my academic success.’


Social and emotional skills

  • Social interaction
  • Emotional regulation
  • Restricted behaviors and interests
  • Adaptation to change
Click here for more practical information

If you’d like to find out more about what used to be called Asperger’s syndrome,

read the article by author and ethnologist Mireille Thibault by clicking HERE