What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
ASD is a neurological disorder that often makes it hard to communicate with and relate to others which are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behavior.
Children may have difficulties communicating verbally, use echolalic (repeat back what they hear) speech, or have difficulty with non-verbal communication. Social interactions and relationships or play with peers is often affected and behaviors can be seen as restricted, or inflexible. Children with ASD often have unusual interest and can be obsessive compulsive in nature.
ASD is diagnosed formally diagnosed by a psychologist or neurologist and the treatment of ASD involves a multi-disciplinary approach including doctors, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist and/or ABA therapist as well as a strong educational program. This comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach that focuses on the child’s individual needs, together with the participation of the parents, will ensure greater success and outcomes.
Early intervention is highly recommended and supported with insurance based and community resources. Autism can diagnosed in infancy but typically around 18 months into toddler or early elementary aged children. This is important as treatment can take full advantage of the child’s young brain’s plasticity and ability to learn. Early treatment helps a child develop important skills to reduce some of the symptoms and regardless age can help the child reach their full potential while supporting the family unit. Children with ASD tend to respond better to highly structured and specialized treatment programs that focus on communication, social, behavioral, and independent living skills.
At Kara Dodds & Associates we use a variety of approaches to teach children with ASD including PECS, Hanen techniques, Visual Helpers, Visual Schedules, Sensory Integration therapy, and more. If you believe your child would benefit from our therapy services please contact us at 619.692.0622 or click the button below to set up an appointment.