Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an intricate neurodevelopmental disorder which affects behavior, communication, and social function. According to the latest figures in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have ASD.
Psychologists can play a major role diagnosing ASD and helping individuals cope with and manage the challenges related to the disorder.
As the term “spectrum” indicates, ASD symptoms exist along a continuum. Some individuals with the illness are able to perform functions of living, maintain jobs and to succeed in schools. Others will need help and extensive support throughout their lives and have significant intellectual impairments.
Whilst ASD is a varied disorder, the condition is often characterized by certain repetitive behaviors and difficulties with social communication and interaction.
Some common symptoms and signs include:
- Failure to engage in typical babbling or pointing in infancy.
- Failure to make eye contact start in infancy.
- Failure to react to one’s personal name.
- Loss of previously acquired language or social skills, usually during the next period of life.
- Unusual responses to sensory input.
- Unusual movements such as rocking, twirling or flapping arms.
- Difficulty playing or interacting with peers.
- Difficulty talking about feelings.
- Difficulty understanding tone of voice, body language, and gestures.
- Obsessive interest in a specific topic.
- Difficulty breaking from regular.
Although ASD can be diagnosed as early as 15 to 18 months old, the average age of diagnosis is roughly 4.5 years, and some people are not diagnosed until adulthood. As the diagnosis is essential for early intervention, that’s unfortunate. Studies have revealed that intensive early intervention can make a difference in the outcomes for people with ASD. If you suspect your child shows signs of the disease, do not put off testing. See Dalton Psychologists here!
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, and it’s supposed to have a strong genetic component. But tests like brain scans or blood tests can’t now be used to diagnose ASD. Instead, the illness is diagnosed by health care providers based on the patient’s history and behaviors.
Different experts can create this identification, including a number psychologists, pediatricians, and neurologists. Psychologists (including neuropsychologists, who focus on the association between the brain and human cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning) are often involved in the diagnostic procedure. It’s necessary that the specialist includes extensive experience working with the wide assortment of symptoms.
To make a diagnosis of ASD, psychologists draw on a number of sources of advice:
- Patient interviews.
- Observations of the individual’s behavior.
- Tests of language and cognitive skills.
- Medical tests to rule out other problems.
Interviews with parents, teachers or other adults that can answer questions regarding the individual’s social, emotional and behavioral growth.
Therapy and Encourage
Given the intricate nature of the illness, children with ASD benefit from interdisciplinary treatment teams made up of experts from various fields. Those teams typically include physicians, teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists, along with psychologists.
Several interventions are developed to take care of children with ASD. Some of the procedures include:
Applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA is a technique that utilizes helpful behaviors to increase and reduce or hinder learning. ABA therapy was demonstrated to improve social communication and vocational skills. Developmental individual-difference relationship-based version (DIR). In the DIR model, also referred to as floor time treatment, parents and therapists follow the child’s lead in playing together while also directing the child to engage in increasingly complicated interactions. TEACCH Autism Program. The TEACCH framework promotes engagement in actions through approaches. visit them at Barrie today.
It’s important to have your child evaluated by a provider trained in diagnosing and treating autism so that he or she can recommend the most appropriate interventions. Interventions can be managed by educators, in addition to by psychologists and behavior analysts.
Psychologists also play a significant part in helping kids of all ages in addition to adults with ASD handle specific challenges associated with the disorder.
Parents have been encouraged to trust their instincts and find a physician who will listen and consult their kid to appropriate specialists for diagnosis. Doctors unfamiliar with diagnosing autism sometimes dismiss parent concerns, delaying also the opportunity for early intervention therapies and also the diagnosis. Autism Speaks and other psychiatric associations are working hard to increase awareness of signs among doctors as well as parents.
From arrival to at least 36 weeks of age, every child should be screened for developmental landmarks during routine very good visits. When such a screening — or a parent increases concerns about a child’s development, the doctor must consult with the child to an expert in early intervention and examination. These tests should include hearing and lead exposure tests as well as an autism-specific screening tool such as the M-CHAT. Among these screening tools are geared autism spectrum disorders that were specific.