Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that influences the way a person thinks, feels and interacts with others and their environment. Although symptoms of ASD are highly variable, impairments in social and communication skills along with restricted behaviours and interests underpin this condition. For some, these symptoms may be quite manageable however for others, severe deficits in day to day functioning are experienced.
Whether you’re a parent seeking answers for your child or an adult looking to better understand yourself, here are 5 reasons why you should consider an ASD assessment:
1)The symptoms of ASD are broadly categorised into two main areas:
- Persistent deficits in social communication
- Difficulties interacting with other people e.g. finding it hard to understand what others are thinking and feeling
- Trouble understanding body language such as eye contact, facial expressions
- Difficulties forming and maintaining relationships
2) Restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, interests of activities
- Insistence on sameness in environment or routine
- Highly fixated or unusual interests
- Highly sensitive to stimuli such as bright lights, specific textures, loud sounds
1. Early intervention for children: Identifying ASD at an early age through an assessment allows for prompt access to specialised services and interventions which can significantly improve developmental outcomes.
2. Increased self-awareness and empowerment: An assessment not only provides a diagnosis, it also identifies key strengths and weakness which can help individual’s better understand the way they interact with the world. This knowledge can help people leverage their strengths whilst also addressing areas that may require additional support. As an adult, a diagnosis may also help to validate one’s experiences and past difficulties which can reduce self-blame.
3. Increased understanding from others: Whilst living with ASD is accompanied by many strengths and abilities, it also presents unique challenges that may require understanding from others. For instance, an assessment can help families and caregivers better understand specific patterns of behaviour and communication styles and the impacts these have on their child. Many schools and workplaces are also able to make necessary accommodations to help you succeed whilst also embracing your differences.
4. Access to support services: A formal assessment can open the doors to support services tailored for individuals with ASD such as support groups, career counselling for adults and access to mental health services or other specialised therapies such as speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.
5. Individualised treatment plan: As mentioned, there is great variability in ASD symptoms. With an assessment, the presence and impact of specific symptoms across different areas of an individual’s life are thoroughly explored and interventions can be tailored based on each person’s unique circumstances.
At Positive Mind Works, our team of experienced psychologists are able to conduct ASD assessments for both children and adults. The assessment comprises two 60 minute interviews and one feedback session which is accompanied by a detailed report.