Learning Disability Resources
We designed these resources for parents and educators to gain a better
understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and what makes each of them unique. ASD
is the name for a group of developmental disorders with a wide range of symptoms, skills, and
levels of disability.
At the Academy of St. Louis, we believe that with the right resources and support from both parents
and teachers, children with ASD can reach their full potential.
Signs and Symptoms
Parents and teachers are usually the first to identify ASD behaviors in children. There are two
main types of behaviors: restrictive/repetitive behaviors and social communication/interaction
behaviors. Not all people with ASD will show all of the behaviors, but most will show several
amongst the two types.
Doctor’s diagnose ASD by looking at a child’s behavior and development. Children can usually
be reliably diagnosed by age two.
Diagnosis in young children is usually a two-step process:
- General Developmental Screening During Checkup—during general checkups,
doctor’s can observe and learn more from a parent about a child’s behavior. From there,
a child can be referred to another specialist for an additional evaluation if the doctor
- Additional Evaluation—the additional evaluation will include a specialist who can make recommendations for a treatment plan.
- A developmental pediatrician—a doctor who has special training in child development
- A child psychologist and/or child psychiatrist—a doctor who knows about brain development and behavior
- A speech-language pathologist—a health professional who has special training in communication difficulties.
- Gender—boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls
- Having a sibling with ASD
- Having older parents (a mother who was 35 or older, and/or a father who was 40 or
older when the baby was born)
- Genetics—about 20% of children with ASD also have certain genetic conditions. Those
conditions include Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis among