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Common Diagnoses


Autism is a spectrum disorder, otherwise referred to as an umbrella of diagnoses as not one person is alike. Previously, this umbrella term included diagnoses such as Asperger’s, pervasive developmental disorder and disintegrative disorder. However, the DSM 5 has now divided ASD symptoms into 2 areas. These two being social communication and interaction and repetitive and restrictive behaviours. This may look like a lack of understanding to social ques and settings, understanding of emotions, sensory processing delays, repetitive or obsessive movements. The list of characteristics may be ongoing as not one diagnosis is alike.


A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, as characterized by (1) and/or (2): Inattention, 2. Hyperactivty and impulsivity


Is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Motor disorder.

Intellectual Disability:

Are deficits in general mental abilities. Deficits can be labelled as mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Can be…developmental delay, down syndrome, fragile x, prader-willi syndrome. Theres quite a few to name off.

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol. FASD is a life long disability. Individuals with FASD will experience some degree of challenge in their daily living and may require support in the following areas to reach their full potential; motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation, and social skills. Each diagnosis of FASD is unique and not one person will have the same strengths and challenges. Challenges can occur in the following areas:

Physical- birth defects and motor skills

Mental- cognitive, memory, decision making

Behavioral- trouble getting along in the world; angry outbursts.

Learning- poor school performance, trouble abstract thinking

FASD Resources

FASD Ontario:

Erinoak Kids:

Parent Caregiver Support Group:

EOK Workshop:

Sensory Processing

Often times, those on the Autism Spectrum experiences challenges with sensory processing. Sensory processing refers to a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes through the senses;

Sight (visual), sound (auditory), smell (olfactory) taste (gustatory) and touch (tactile). We can either by hyposensitive (abnormally decreased sensitivity), neutral, or hypersensitive (abnormally increased sensitivity) when receiving this input. It is important that we recognize that there is no treatment for this. To make everyday life more manageable, we may modify day-to-day environments.

For example:

Person struggles with loud noises -> wear noise cancelling headphones

Person chews on shirt -> replace with 'chewlery'

Person seeking deep pressure --> replace with a weighted vest or blanket

Speech and Language (SLP)

Speech therapy refers to treatment for problems with speaking, language and swallowing. SLP focus' on persons improving their communication; such as learning to use the right muscles to speak, pronunciation and articulation, written language and reading challenges, as well as utilizing augmentative and alternative communication devices.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupation refers to any activities that people need or want to engage in during their daily lives. OT focus' on assessment and integration of a child challenge to customize programs in the following areas: fin and gross motor skills, self care skills, visual perception, cognition and sensory processing challenges.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

ABA refers to a set of principles that are used based on the science of behaviour that are used to change a behaviour. Behaviour change can mean increasing functional skills, such as communication, social skills, or play skills. It can also mean decreasing problematic behaviour, or behaviours which interfere with learning, such as aggression, flopping, or screaming. ABA therapy is used to determine that cause of an individuals behavioral challenges and employ specific strategies to address these challenges.

Intense Behavioral Intervention (IBI)

IBI refers to a specific type f therapy for children's on the moderate to severe end of the autism spectrum. IBI is an intensive way of teaching a child new skills in all areas of development and usually includes 20-40 hours per week of treatment.

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