Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder encompassing a spectrum of symptoms and impairments that range in severity. ASD is characterized by two main challenges: difficulty in communicating and interacting with others, and restricted interests or repetitive behavior. Because autism spectrum disorder symptoms are social and behavioral in nature, the symptoms become more apparent in the early developmental period (around 2-3 years old). It’s also not uncommon for adults to seek diagnosis if they notice symptoms in themselves or their children.
A licensed clinician can help with an evaluation and assist with providing your child with strategies to best manage the symptoms and embrace the strengths that ASD can provide.
Indicators someone may be exhibiting traits of ASD include:
● Inability to maintain eye contact, or failure to respond when spoken to or called by name
● Rigid rules or routines
● Isolation, discomfort, or avoidance of social interactions
● Difficulty understanding non-literal language (like sarcasm or idioms)
● Repetitive or obsessive behavior, such as lining up objects or only performing tasks in a particular order
● Limited (restricted) interests in a certain topic, type of toy, or idea
● Involuntary or excessive behaviors such as frequent blinking, body rocking, hand flapping or head banging
A diagnosis of ASD can help people find solutions to symptoms interfering with their daily life. ASD can make it difficult for them to interact socially, both with verbal and nonverbal communication (like body language and sarcasm). Trouble making eye contact or involuntary noises can also cause problems at home, at school or with peers. These problems can also lead to co-occurring emotional concerns, like anxiety and depression.
Research shows early intervention for these behaviors and concerns helps! Therapy and some medications are available to assist in management and control of these behaviors. A licensed therapist can help address compulsions and repetitive behaviors or a lack of social skills, as well as teach coping methods for anxiety.