ASD

Autism Specturm Disorder Treatment

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) encompasses a range of conditions characterized by impaired social functioning, communication and language deficits, and a limited number of personal interests and activities that are engaged in repetitively.

ASDs begin in childhood and persist into adolescence and adulthood. In most cases ASD can be diagnosed in the first 5 years of life. Unlike other mental disorders that demonstrate periods of remission and relapse, ASDs generally follow a steady course across the lifespan.

Individuals with ASD often have other co-occurring diagnoses, including epilepsy, depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Intellectual functioning in individuals with ASDs is also highly variable.

Key facts

(World Health Organization, 2017)

  • 1 in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • ASDs begin in childhood and continue into adolescence and adulthood.
  • While some people with ASD can live independently, others have severe disabilities and require life-long care and support.
  •  Evidence-based psychosocial interventions, such as behavioral treatment and parent skills training programs can reduce difficulties in communication and social behavior.
  • Interventions for people with ASD need to be accompanied by broader actions for making physical, social and attitudinal environments more accessible, inclusive and supportive.

Factors that Influence ASD

Available scientific evidence suggests that there are probably many factors that increase a child’s likelihood of having an ASD, including environmental and genetic factors. Lower intellectual functioning makes it more difficult to adapt to the daily demands of life.

Assessment and Management

Intervention during early childhood is important to promote the optimal development and well-being of people with an ASD.

Family involvement in care of people with ASDs is important for successful intervention. Identifying what causes affected people both distress and wellbeing is an important element of care, as is finding out what environments are most conductive to better learning.

Evidence-based psychosocial interventions such as behavioral treatment and skills training programs can reduce difficulties in communication and social behavior with a positive impact on the person’s wellbeing and quality of life.

Next Steps

If you are concerned about your own or your child's mental health Edgar Psychological can help with individual therapy and parent coaching.

Psychologists that specialize in ASD

Vivian Houg has extensive experience providing treatment for ASD in children and adolescents.

References

World Health Organization. (2017, April). Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/autism-spectrum-disorders/en/