specialty programs

Autism


What does an autism diagnosis mean?

The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder falls under a broad category of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
 

 
What are some of the characteristics of individuals with Autism Disorder?

Language and Non Verbal Impairments:
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) defines Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction. Individuals with ASD may not use correct speech sounds or make any sounds at all. They also may not have the ability to communicate with others.Individuals may repeat what others say (echolalia) or use words that others don’t understand. They may also exhibit poor non-verbal behaviors such as eye contact, body language, and facial expressions. These are essential for effective social communication.

Social Impairments: Individuals with ASD may have difficulty relating to others and developing relationships. They may prefer to be alone and sometimes act as if they don’t realize the presence of others.They may also interact with others in socially inappropriate ways such as touching their ears, licking, or asking repetitive questions.

Some individuals may not be able to read others’ emotions or they may display socially inappropriate emotions (e.g., laughing when someone gets hurt). Children with ASD may have difficulty playing appropriately. Play is important for developing social skills needed for adolescence and adulthood.

Restrictive, Repetitive, and Stereotypical Behavioral Patterns, Interests, and Activities:
Individuals with ASD may engage in repetitive behaviors such as repetitive body movements, interests or activities (body rocking, object twirling, or hand flapping). Individuals also may be preoccupied with specific activities or objects and may engage in activity sequences that are not functional tasks.

Sensory Processing Difficulties:
Individuals may have difficulty processing sensations. For example, bright lights, loud sounds, or certain smells may cause distress. They also may experience pain or discomfort when touched or exposed to specific textures.

Gross and Fine Motor Difficulties: Some individuals may also have difficulty with fine and gross motor skills. For example,  difficulty holding a pencil or
awkward or clumsy body movements.

Difficulty Responding to Environmental Change:
 A very common characteristic in individuals with Autism is their insistence that their environment and routines remain the same. For example, using a different door to exit the school may cause distress.

Individuals may also be attached to certain objects and may have difficulty if those objects are moved. They may require the use of specific objects or locations for engaging in certain activities. For example, a child may need to use the same cup every day.

Cognitive Delays: Individuals with Autism may or may not display cognitive deficits. Difficulty arises due to the fact that individuals with autism may all learn differently, and deciphering best teaching methods may be a long process.


How can PPT4Kids help treat your child’s autism?

Through our team of speech, occupational, and physical therapists, we provide a multi-disciplinary approach for the treatment of autism. Our team is trained in many evidence based interventions. We work together to assess your child’s needs and develop individualized family driven objectives and treatment plans. Several evidence based interventions utilized by our team are:
  • Exercise
  • Therapeutic Listening
  • Sensory based Tools
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Reinforcement
  • Social Stories
  • Task Analysis
  • Visual Supports


“Juli's assertive approach to challenge Ty, born with Spina Bifida L5/S1, puts him on a path to mobility and independence, giving us hope for Ty's future.  She is an integral component to Team Titus.  I love medical professionals like Juli who truly care and love the work they do.” 

Angelica H.