An Introduction to Autism as Understood Through the Lens of Symptom Overlap

There is growing evidence of substantial overlap between neurodevelopmental conditions (such as the autisms, ADHD, learning disabilities, motor dysfunction, tics, epilepsy, and related concerns). However, the trend in clinical practice has been to categorize and diagnose individual conditions, and to focus on these to the exclusion of others. This has been at the expense of unveiling and intervening on all co-morbid concerns.

The current talk, in addition to elaborating on the clinical presentation of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children, also raises awareness around closely associated neurodevelopmental conditions with ASD, under the umbrella of ‘ESSENCE’ (Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations). This talk unpacks these concepts and highlights the need to understand neurodevelopmental conditions as comprising overlapping signs and root causes. Such an understanding will improve the clinical assessment and therapeutic service provision to individuals on the autism spectrum.



  1. Neurodiverse conditions- what these are and how they are linked
  2. ASD- the DSM-V criteria, clinical presentation and subjective experience of the autisms
  3. Sensory processing difficulties
  4. Girls with ASD- current thinking on this issue

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