What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a brain developmental disorder that affects the way an individual relates to their environment and interacts with other people. They can experience difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. It can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and various physical health issues.
What signs should I look for?
The scale is wide, so not all children will show the same traits. Here are a few common signs to look out for:
Resistance to change
Difficulties with social interaction, communication and imagination
Biting, kicking, pinching or self-harming behavior
Avoidance of attention
What does the assessment involve?
Prior to the session, we collect information on developmental and family history, as well as reports from schools. Age-appropriate interviews and exercises are initiated throughout 2 sessions totaling 4-6 hours, often in more than one setting. Our team also administers cognitive, communication and behavior assessments to establish an informed diagnosis.
When should my child have an assessment?
Children can be assessed for ASD as young as 18 months. Early intervention is important, as it will decrease the child’s opportunity to learn problem behaviors. Younger children are also more receptive to change in behavior. When a child develops the ability to communicate effectively, they can gain power of their surroundings in a way that is not disruptive or aggressive. Children with ASD tend not to use effective social skills as they find it too difficult – tackling this early on will help them to develop coping strategies for difficult tasks.
What will treatment involve?
A treatment plan will differ from child to child, however we recommend a combination of the following treatments: Floortime Model (DIR), Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), parent training, play therapy, social skills training, pairing with other children, group work, school support, Speech and Language Therapy, and/or Occupational Therapy.