Autism is a disorder of the brain which causes impairment in processing and causes a lifelong developmental disability, primarily affecting communication and social skills. There are usually issues with verbal and non-verbal communication and unusual repetitive behaviors. It is on a continuum for degrees of severity and impairment. There is ongoing research regarding the causes and treatments of autism.
Our treatment with children on the autism spectrum includes parental involvement as well as consultation with their educational program. It is important to have an understanding of what the child seeks out as rewarding as well as what the child perceives as threatening and to use these effectively with an appropriate method of integration to improve their foundation skills.
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Asperger Syndrome is characterized by early development of language and difficulty with social skills, self regulation and internal organization. The child often has specific areas of interest on which they become “experts”. They tend to have weaknesses with gross motor skills and may appear clumsy. Transitions or changes in their routine, plans or expectations are quite difficult, resulting in behavioral over reactions.
Our treatment with children diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome begins with an understanding of their processing strengths and weaknesses and development of organizational strategies as well as treatment to improve the underlying foundation skills. Use of social stories and “scenarios” to help them develop appropriate social skills and predictable behavioral patterns becomes important for the child. Information for parents and others involved with the Asperger child is important to prevent misinterpretation of their behavior and provide them the support they need.
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