Treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger's

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

While every child with ASD is unique (and amazing), some common symptoms os Autism Spectrum Disorder include:

  • Communication Deficits

    • Delayed speech

    • Echolalia (repeating or imitating others)

    • Excessive repetition of words, phrases, and sounds

  • Impaired Reciprocal Social Interaction

    • Disinterest in others

    • Poor social reciprocity

    • Difficulty with reciprocal conversation

    • Limited play skills

    • Trouble understanding other’s feelings and perspectives

  • Cognitive Difficulties

    • Problem solving

    • Perspective taking

    • Rigid thinking

    • Inattention and distractibility

  • Sensory Differences

    • Over-sensitive or under-sensitive to sound, sight, taste, smell or touch

  • Emotional and Behavioral Challenges

    • Trouble adapting when a routine changes

    • Difficulty transitioning

    • Trouble talking about their own feelings

    • Tantrums and meltdowns

    • School difficulties

Signs of ASD typically begin during early childhood and persist throughout a person’s life.

What is Asperger's?

Asperger’s Syndrome has traditionally been distinguished from classic autism due to its less severe symptoms and the absence of language delays. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome may be only mildly or moderately affected (in fact, a child with Asperger’s may just seem like a kid who behaves differently than his/her peers). 

Children with Asperger’s commonly want to fit in and have peer interaction, but often have difficulty knowing how to do it. They may be seen by peers as socially awkward, not understand conventional social rules, display difficulty picking up on social cues, and/or show a lack of empathy. They may exhibit limited eye contact, seem disengaged during social interactions, have difficulty understanding the use of sarcasm or irony, have unusual speech patterns (e.g. lack of inflection, too loud), struggle to the back-and-forth flow of a conversation, and/or appear clumsy or awkward.  

 

Children with Asperger's very frequently have many unique and exceptional qualities, such as:

  • being extremely proficient in topics of interest to them

  • having remarkable focus and persistence

  • having excellent rote memory skills

  • having above average intelligence

Of note: Asperger's Syndrome existed as a distinct category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) from1994 to 2013. As of 2013, Asperger's Syndrome was removed as a stand-alone diagnosis and was folded into one general category (Autism Spectrum Disorders) rather than being its own distinct diagnostic category. 

What is the Treatment for ADHD? 

The focus for treatment for ASD at the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is on empowering parents with powerful tools that will allow them to effectively manage symptoms, reduce problematic behaviors, and support their child’s development and education. We create an individualized treatment plan by understanding your child’s symptoms and behaviors of concern and building on their talents and abilities. Treatment is comprised of activities that are motivating and rewarding for children and their parents in order to make therapy a safe, positive, and fun experience.

Treatment for ASD is highly specialized and effective.  It is critical that if your child has ASD, that they seek the help of a therapist with true expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorder (as a opposed to a generalist child psychologist).  Personalized treatment goals will be set collaboratively with your therapist based on your child’s specific symptoms.  Then, your therapist will design a treatment program individualized to your child based on what the latest research tells us will be the most efficient way to get your child to reach those goals.

 

Common treatment goals include:

  • Reducing difficult behaviors, such as tantrums and emotional reactivity

  • Increasing flexibility/decreasing rigidity

  • Improving social skills

  • Improving daily living skills

  • Building coping strategies

  • Improving structure and positive communication in the home

  • Addressing sensory sensitivities

  • Reducing repetitive behaviors (i.e. hand flapping, rocking, pacing)

  • Increasing range of interests

Children with ASD often respond well to a combination of therapies and supports, such as early intervention and educational programs. If needed, we can provide referrals to complementary therapies, such as speech and occupational therapies, Applied Behavior Analysis, psychiatry, and sleep specialists. 

323 E. Front Street, Media, PA 19063