While there is no one known cause for autism, it is known the disorder is not caused by poor parenting.
Services are available for children and youth up to 19 years of age with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), within the Saskatoon area of the SHA.
The Autism Intervention Program (AIP) within the Saskatoon area of the SHA provides individualized behavioural interventions and support services in collaboration with the family.
Services are provided to children and youth up to 19 years of age and their families. The program is operated through Autism Services, whose mission is to provide education, advocacy, and services to improve the quality of life of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and their families.
The following services are delivered through the Autism Intervention Program:
- Completing an initial screen for children and youth where autism spectrum disorder is suspected but has not been diagnosed.
- Developing and monitoring of individualized intervention plans.
- Providing in-home, early intervention to children 5 years of age and under or until successfully transitioned into a school program.
- Providing individualized intervention to children and youth aged 5–19 years.
- Providing in-home family consultations.
- Assisting with transition planning.
- Collaborating with other service providers.
It is essential that parents participate in the ongoing implementation of the Intervention Plan.
Anyone can refer to the Autism Intervention Program; however, parental permission is required.
- No babbling (stringing sounds together to make sentences) by 12 months.
- No gestures (pointing, waving bye-bye, etc.) by 12 months.
- No response to their name by 12 months by age.
- No single words by 16 months of age.
- No two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months of age.
- May withdraw from others.
- May not seek attention or actively engage with other people.
- May not follow or try pointing to show interest in something.
- Difficulties in verbal (spoken) and non-verbal (gestures, facial expressions, body language) communication. This may range from no speech at all to full sentences that are odd in the way they are spoken or their meaning.
- Speaking style may appear robotic or scripted from TV, repetitive or “echoing,” or there may be use of words with no obvious meaning.
Behaviours, interests and activities
- May have highly specific and focused interests (e.g. obsessions with trains or maps) to the exclusion of other things.
- May be very rigid in routine (taking same route home every day, play with a toy in only one way).
- May show repetitive actions such as hand flapping, rocking, etc.