Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are one of the most common mental disorders that affect adults and children around the world. With the ability to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms of ASD, you can determine if it may be helpful to have your child assessed for ASD.
What are the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
In the Diagnostic Statistic Manual for Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-V) Autism is described as being when someone who has consistent deficits in social communication in a variety of ways. As a parent you will typically begin to notice symptoms of ASD when your child is between 12 and 24 months of age. Some of the symptoms that are considered when diagnosing ASD include:
- The inability to participate in back-and-forth social interactions
- The inability to share affect or emotions
- Deficits in nonverbal communication including abnormal body language and the inability to maintain contact
- Difficulty with establishing and maintaining social relationships, particularly in terms of making friends
- The repetitive use of objects or speech, such as echolalia
- The need for sameness, schedules, and rituals
- Abnormally restricted interest in certain objects
- Hyper or hypo-reactivity
What to do if your child may be experiencing an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
In the event that you are concerned about your child exhibiting some or all of these symptoms listed above, it is advised that you seek professional assistance from a psychologist or mental health professional that specializes in child development. They will be able to assess and diagnose your child. If needed this process can also help determine the best treatment plan for your child.
How are Autism Spectrum Disorders treated?
Since there are 3 different levels of ASD, depending on the severity of the mental disorder, your child may be recommended for different treatments. It is typical for patients to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy with a trained and licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. The most important part of treating autism spectrum disorder is to make sure that early intervention is possible to help children understand how to walk, talk, and improve communication.
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