Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder, commonly referred to and known as ASD, affects individuals and how they interact and communicate with their peers. ASD affects how the person makes sense of the world around them. ASD is a developmental disability caused by variations in the brain. Commonly, individuals with ASD have difficulties with interaction and social communication. In addition, these individuals could have repetitive or restrictive interests and behaviours. They can experience sensory issues, such as under sensitivity or oversensitivity to touch, smells, or sound. However, not all people with ASD have these symptoms and each person is different! The term “spectrum” is used to emphasise this. Each person with ASD presents differently, and no single person is the same.


Understanding autism spectrum disorders

If you are a parent dealing with a child on the spectrum, you may hear many different terms, however, no matter what doctors, teachers, and other specialists say regarding ASD, it’s your child’s unique needs that are relevant and truly important. No diagnostic can tell you exactly what challenges your child will have. Finding ASD treatment that focuses on your child’s needs, rather than what to call the ‘problem’, is the most helpful thing you can do.


Social behaviour, social understanding & Interaction skills

Social communication and basic interaction skills may be challenging for children with ASD: Symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Avoids or does not keep eye contact
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings, reactions, and nonverbal cues.
  • Does not respond to their name by 9 months of age
  • Unusual or inappropriate body language, gestures, and facial expressions.
  • Lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements.
  • Lacks the ability to notice other children and join them in play.
  • Comes across as aloof and detached; prefers to be alone.
  • Resistance to being touched.
  • Difficulty or failure to make friends


Repetitive & Restricted Behaviours or Interests

Children with ASD can act in ways that may seem unusual or strange, including obsessive, restricted, or repetitive with their interests, activities and behaviours. These can include:

  • Becoming upset by change in their environment (e.g., lines up toys, follows a rigid, repetitive schedule)
  • Gets upset by minor changes to routine
  • Clumsiness, atypical posture, or odd ways of moving.
  • Repetitive body movements or phrases (hand flapping, rocking, spinning); moving constantly.
  • Repetitive patterns of play
  • Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
  • Are hyper sensitive (over-reactive) or hypo sensitive (under-reactive) to sensory input, or experience fragmented or distorted perceptions.
  • Fascinated by spinning objects, moving pieces, or parts of toys
  • Obsessive attachment to unusual objects (rubber bands, keys, light switches).
  • Preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest, sometimes involving numbers or symbols.


What does a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder consist of?

The road to an ASD diagnosis can be time-consuming and difficult. To determine whether your child has ASD or another emotional or developmental condition, our clinicians look carefully at how the child interacts with others, behaves, and communicates. A complex assessment is completed and a diagnosis is based on the patterns of behaviours is revealed.

The assessment is process can take several weeks and requires interviews, testings, and more often than not, contact with schools. There is no single medical ASD treatment to diagnose immediately, and a multitude of evaluations and tests may be required. If you are concerned that your child has ASD, ask your family doctor or paediatrician to refer you to our experienced child psychologists.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no treatment that will cure autism spectrum disorder; however, ASD treatment can assist with understanding, development and maximise your child’s ability to function by reducing autism spectrum disorder symptoms and supporting healthy socialization and learning processes.

Here at CBT Professionals, our dedicated child psychologists offer ASD diagnosis and therapy for ASD management and treatment, pre and/or post diagnosis. Across all three of our convenient practice locations (Coomera, Nerang, and Mount Gravatt), our experienced and knowledgeable clinical team are passionate about helping families that are struggling with ASD. From helping parents understand their child with ASD, to diagnosing ASD, to providing supportive therapy for children with ASD.

Suspect your child may be struggling with ASD? We are here to help! Early diagnosis and ASD treatment can improve the chances for overcoming developmental delays in children. At CBT Professionals, we are experienced in ASD management and therapy, regardless of a diagnosis!

Contact us now via telephone or online enquiry via www.cbtprofessionals.com.au to book an appointment and take that first step to understanding and managing ASD.


Coomera – (07) 5551 0251

Nerang – (07) 5668 3490

Mount Gravatt – (07) 3102 1366


If you, or your child, requires urgent help with ASD, please reach out to organisations like Beyond Blue and Autism QLD. If you are in crisis and require urgent support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or please contact 000 or visit your local emergency department.

Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns. CBT Professionals is not an emergency service – please call 000 in an emergency.



Help Guide. (2020). Autism Spectrum Disorders. Help Guide.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Signs and Symptoms: ASD.

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