1. What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder. ASD includes Autism (impairment in social reciprocity, communication deficits, stereotypic behaviors) Aspergers Syndrome (qualitative impairment in social interaction, no speech or cognitive deficits) Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (severe impairment in social interaction, but does not meet the full criteria for Autism). ASD affects the way a person processes and integrates information they receive internally and externally. Deficits in thinking and behavior affect all aspects of their social, emotional and occupational lives. Despite the challenges they face, ASD Consultancy believe it is possible for your child to have happy, meaningful, fulfilling life.
2. What is the cause of ASD?
It is unlikely that there is one single cause of ASD. A variety of neurological research suggests that many different parts of the brain are affected and that there is no one single Autism gene. In some people with ASD it is detected early on in the infant’s life; however for others it is not noticeable until 18 months or older. Gutstein (2005) suggests that around 18 months the infant with ASD is not able to make the transition necessary to integrated brain functioning and thus development is disrupted.
3. What is a developmental approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Developmental psychology looks at the way people grow and change throughout their lives. We all go through developmental steps and stages from the moment we are born to the moment we die. An infant learns to engage with his/her parents, sit, crawl, walk, speak, share and be spontaneous. We then go on to make friendships, go to school, move away from home, have interpersonal relationships, get married, have children, proceed through middle age and retire. We believe that very early on in the infant’s life there are fundamental disruptions, halting progress and sending them on a different path to engaging and being in the world. ASD Consultancy examines where these disruptions occurred, treats these concerns and gives your child a chance to get on the path to typical development, so they can have a successful life and actively engage in life’s developmental process.
4. Does ASD Consultancy provide Behavioral therapy?
ASD Consultancy examines and looks at the underlying reasons for the behaviors and focuses on enhancing developmental abilities to address the problems that are causing the concerns. There are times when behavioral issues such as self-injurious behavior, aggressive behavior and safety awareness put your child at risk. In these circumstances, this agency will address the crisis and provide referrals for additional support where necessary.
5. What are the common problems people with ASD face?
Your child will typically face profound relationship difficulties. They have significant trouble understanding how to successfully navigate relationships. They often face problems with practical issues such as; independent living skills, eating problems, toileting problems, sensory disturbances, sleep problems, regulating themselves and adjusting to their environment. As a result of these challenges, it is common to see problems in the family, in the school setting and in occupational environments.
6. What are common ASD signs to watch out for?
Infants are inherently social beings and are tuned into their care-givers from a very early age. They seek out their mothers and identify them from others at the very beginning of their lives. They follow their mother’s eye gaze and have joy in novelty and interactions. If you notice that your infant or child, does not seem motivated to engage, gives minimal eye contact, stares through you, watches inanimate objects for long periods, has problems with eating, sleep and changes in their routine you may want to seek out an evaluation. Contact your local autism chapter, Pediatrician, Regional Center, or School District who can direct you to the appropriate clinician. ASD Consultancy will be happy to assist you with this whenever possible.
7. What type of physical environment is important for a person with ASD?
Often, your child can benefit from quieter environments with few distractions, so they can focus on the interactions that do matter. Pay special consideration to light, noise and tactile sensitivities that they may have. Be aware of how much verbal communication is being used and repeated. Giving your child time to process and think about what has been said to them. Visual cues can help with processing and recalling information. As with all children, recognition, boundaries and consequences are essential. Be aware of your schedule. Most people have very busy lives and this certainly includes your children. Think about what services are helpful and important and what services are not necessary. Be aware of over scheduling yourselves!
8. What services do you provide?
As a consultant to you and your family, ASD Consultancy evaluates your concerns and assesses your needs. We then create a comprehensive treatment plan to assist you in meeting your identified goals. These areas may include; social, emotional support, parent training, school consultation and professional training, individual, marital, family therapy and crisis support. Services can be provided locally, nationally and globally.
9. Do you provide support to teenagers and adults with ASD?
Yes. Many teenagers present concerns such as isolation, anxiety and depression. The teenage years are typically a time when young adults separate from their parents and are identifying with their peer group. This can be problematic for the teenagers with ASD who are frequently unsure of how to go about making and keeping friendships. Teenagers may also have concerns relating to school work. Adults frequently raise concerns regarding college, employment, independent living issues and interpersonal relationships. ASD Consultancy is here to help with these issues.