Autism Spectrum Disorders

We complete treatment and evaluations for children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Please be aware, we cannot diagnose this disorder, but we are well versed in the treatment and evalution of children with this diagnosis. 

An Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder notable for deficits in social communication and interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviors/interests/activities. Due to new diagnostic criteria changes, previous diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive development disorder - not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) are now simply given the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. 

  • Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain.
  • There is not yet a consensus proven on what causes ASD.
  • Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism is more common in boys than in girls.
  • Early identification and intervention are critical. If you are concerned about your child's development consider having your child screened for Autism. See Red Flags at www.firstsigns.org.

Know the Signs

  • Core Characteristic: Impaired social communication and social interaction
  • Core Characteristic: Repetitive Behaviors or Restricted Interests
  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive language and/or motions (hand flapping, spinning)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peers; prefers being alone
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Insistence on sameness
  • Difficulty expressing needs; using gestures instead of words
  • Repeating words/phrases in place of normal, responsive language
  • Laughing and/or crying for no apparent reason
  • Showing distress for reasons not apparent to others; tantrums
  • Not wanting to cuddle or be cuddled
  • Unresponsive to normal teaching methods
  • Sustained odd play; fixating on object parts
  • Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain
  • No real fears of danger
  • Uneven gross/fine motor skills
  • Non-responsive to verbal cues although hearing is normal

If your child shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner to send him/her for an immedediate evaluation.

Other Links for Autism Information:

www.AutismSpeaks.org

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of Florida

How does a Speech Language Pathologist help a child with ASD?

Autism Spectrum Disorders affect children very differently based on the severity. We can help with the following areas that are typically impaired:

  • Language use 
  • Language understanding
  • Social skills, also known as pragmatic language
  • Self regulation skills to carryover into all aspects of life (self calming strategies, use of visual aids, use of visual schedules)

 Please feel free to contact us if you should have any additional questions.