Autism Specturm Disorder (ASD)

An Overview.

What is ASD?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the term used to describe a number of conditions that typically affect a person’s social interactions, behaviour and ability to learn. Autism is not a disease, and therefore, it cannot be “cured.” ASD does, however, affect every individual differently. With effective treatments and therapies, people on the autism spectrum can receive meaningful assistance and successfully integrate the disorder into their daily lives.

Autism, Autism

Common Symptoms & Behaviour.

In simple terms, people with autism can find it challenging — and sometimes overwhelming — to navigate their world. Common, everyday situations can feel confusing and uncomfortable.
Though every person on the ASD spectrum is a unique individual with skills and challenges of their own, they often display similar characteristics across a number of categories.
Social
  • Social environments such as school, work, friendships and family may be stressful and can lead to behaviors such as defiance, shutting down, social missteps, avoidance, or agitation.
Communication
  • Being able to relate to and understand others can be confusing for autistic people. When they don’t understand the same social or non-verbal cues that other people do, the disconnect can cause anxiety and distress — sometimes over seemingly minor issues.
Behavioural
  • To avoid the discomfort of confusing social engagement, autistic people may choose to engage in activities that they understand and are comfortable doing, even when others find the activity “boring” or “repetitive.”
  • Autistic children and adults often find that the behaviors they use to cope with their discomfort are misunderstood as being “naughty” or “rude.”

 

Related Diagnoses.

 

Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s is an outdated term once used to diagnose high functioning autism in people who demonstrate traits of Autism, but who don’t show any signs of developmental speech delay. The terminology is no longer used in treatment or diagnosis.

Tourette’s Syndrome and ticks

People with Autism may also demonstrate symptoms of Tourette’s Syndrome or ticks — experienced as involuntary repetitive movements or vocalisations. Treatment is available and can be integrated into your son or daughter’s individual treatment plan.

Testing & Treatment.

 

While autistic people share certain difficulties, ASD affects each individual uniquely. Testing and diagnosis is the first, crucial step in ensuring your child receives meaningful help and assistance from the very start. More information about the Oxford CBT autism assessment process is available on or blog.

Though ASD can be challenging for the whole family, the good news is that there are a large number of effective treatment options. These may include a combination of some or all of the following:

Exploring Your Child’s Individual Needs

  • Exploring your child’s triggers for anxiety or challenging behaviours
  • Exploring possible sensory sensitivities

Emotional & Social Education

  • Understanding feelings and how to express them
  • Learning coping strategies for worries, fears, anxiety and change
  • Improving social skills How to structure meaningful and pleasant routines
  • Build your child’s self confidence

 

Call To Action

Autism doesn’t need to devastate your child’s confidence or your family harmony. With the right assistance, people with autism live fulfilling, successful lives and learn to integrate the diagnosis as one part of who they are as an individual.