by Dr. Becky Spelman on 06/01/2021
Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment
There is growing public awareness of the existence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but it is still important to clarify exactly what it is, as misconceptions are common. Essentially, Autism Spectrum Disorder is a relatively common neurodevelopment disorder (about one in sixty-eight children are thought to be affected) with two main clusters of symptoms: a difficulty in communicating and interacting in social settings, and behavioural patterns that tend to be repetitive and restricted. Autism Spectrum Disorder is known as a “spectrum” disorder because people with the condition vary greatly in terms of how severe their symptoms are, and how much they disrupt their everyday life. At the more severe end of the scale, some people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are completely non-verbal, and find it practically impossible to have ordinary relationships with others, while at the less-severe end of the scale we can find a lot of highly successful people, who nonetheless struggle in social settings. While some people with Autism Spectrum Disorder also have learning disabilities, many others have high levels of academic intelligence.
Although ASD symptoms are first manifested in early childhood, people with milder versions of the condition are not always diagnosed until they reach adulthood, by which stage they have typically developed a range of coping mechanisms on their own. However, many of them continue to struggle in the area of making friends or sustaining friendships, in romantic relationships, and in a range of social scenarios. People with ASD can also suffer from other disorders, such as anxiety disorder
While it is never too late to diagnose ASD and to start taking steps to improve a patient’s quality of life, the earlier the diagnosis takes place, the better. Children as young as two can be given a reliable diagnosis by a suitably trained professional. When assessing a child or an adult, a psychologist uses one or more of a range of tests, such as the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale or the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised test, which (in the case of children) include a detailed interview with the child’s parents about their behaviour and early childhood development.
ASD is not a curable condition, but there are many treatments available that can help to minimise the condition’s impact on the patient’s life. Speech and language therapy, teaching social skills, and occupational therapy can all make a big difference. When the patient is a child, parents can be taught special techniques to help them to develop their social skills. Understandably, many parents are extremely upset when they learn that their child has ASD – part of our therapeutic approach involves helping the whole family adapt to the situation, and to realise that, with the right support, their child can still have a good future.
What can the Private Therapy Clinic Offer Autistic Patients?
First of all, we can provide a reliable diagnosis in both children and adults. Our therapists use valid, reliable psychometric screening tools, along with a clinical interview, to provide an accurate assessment. For the purpose of diagnosis, we use the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, one of the most widely-used and trusted tools for assessing autism. The entire diagnostic process is very thorough, taking two hours. If autism is diagnosed, we recommend a specific course of treatment, tailored to the particular needs of the patient in question.
Getting a diagnosis of ASD, for yourself or for your child, can be scary, but understanding the condition, and developing a treatment plan, will make a huge difference. The better we understand your or your child’s condition, the easier it will be to create an approach to managing it as effectively as possible. Many patients experience a sense of relief when the difficulties they may have been living with for a long time are finally given a name.
The treatments we offer children and adults with ASD include cognitive behavioural therapy, social skills training, emotional regulation and impulse control, and practical guidance and coaching. A tailored combination of these approaches assists patients with ASD to understand and interact better with others, by helping them to understand how other people see and interpret the world, and how they behave.
How can I book treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder?
If you would like to talk to someone about treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at +4402038820684 or book online.