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Autism Spectrum Disorder 

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder. The frequency for autism spectrum disorder in the United States is reported to be between 1% to 2% of the population. Behavioral features of autism spectrum disorder first become evident in early childhood. Symptoms are typically recognized during the second year of life. The pattern of onset description might include information about early development delays or losses of social or language skills. Most cases are associated with declines in critical social and communication behaviors in the first 2 years of life. First symptoms of autism spectrum disorder frequently involve delayed language development, often accompanied by lack of social interaction or unusual social interactions, odd play patterns, and unusual communication patterns. During the second year of life, odd repetitive behaviors and the absence of typical play become more apparent. Distinguishing restricted and repetitive behaviors can be difficult in preschoolers given that many typically developing young children have strong preferences and enjoy repetition. The clinical distinction is based on type, frequency and intensity of the behavior. Autism spectrum disorder is not a degenerative disorder. Typically learning and compensation continue throughout life. In general individuals with lower levels of impairment may be better able to function independently. However, they may remain socially naive and vulnerable, have difficulties organizing practical demands without aid, and are prone to anxiety. 

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Autism Spectrum Disorder:  Symptoms (DSM- 5)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

  1. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by all of the following, currently or by history 
    • Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity. 
    • Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interactions
    • Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships. 
  2. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or history
    • Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech
    • Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior
    • Highly restricted, fixated, interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
    • Hyperactivity or Hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment 
  3. Symptoms must be present in early developmental period.
  4. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupations or other important areas of current functioning. 

Autism spectrum disorder includes varying in different behavior functionality between people who meet the criteria to be diagnosed. The DSM categorizes the differences by 3 levels of need. Level 3 is identified as the highest level of need requiring very substantial support. Level 2 is identified as requiring substantial support. Level 1 is identified as the lowest level of need but still requiring support. 

How to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder: 

At Aucoin and Associates Psychology Practice, our therapists and medical health professionals along with our clients, complete thorough mental health assessments in order to determine if a person is experiencing an autism spectrum disorder and which, if any services may be recommended.  Psychological testing is also offered through our practice.  Autism spectrum disorders can be treated with both psychotherapy and medication management.  At Aucoin and Associates Psychology Practice, therapists as well as medical professionals will work with clients in order to address behavioral concerns prompted by autism spectrum disorder, collaborating in order to determine if clients are in need of mental health counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills training, parent support, and/or medication management. 

Aucoin & Associates Psychology Practice

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