Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination, attention and health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Although autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development, the most obvious clinical signs and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability of childhood. It occurs in two out 1000 children, appearing on acute, rehab and tertiary health care caseloads worldwide. It is a non-progressive condition whereby an injury occurs in a child’s brain before, during or shortly after birth, and can affect a child’s movement and posture, limiting their everyday activities.
Down syndrome (DS or DNS), also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all, or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental age of an 8- or 9-year-old child, but this can vary widely.