Autism Spectrum Disorder
So what is Autism? There is growing public awareness on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by limitations in communication, unusual social skills, and repetitious behaviors. The American psychiatric association (2013) further adds that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is typified by stereotyped interests and activities. Hence, autism is considered a spectrum of disorders due to its wide array of characteristics.
Practitioners and Autism Management
It is important to develop individualized treatment interventions when treating patients with autism spectrum disorder. Thus, patient and caregiver training and education should be given in the appropriate form fitting to the patient’s challenges and strengths.
Early intervention is imperative to improved outcomes in patients with ASD. Examples of early interventions include applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech language therapy, occupational therapy and sensory integration. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy, and social training are also effective early intervention strategies.
Autism Management Continued
Through early diagnosis and intervention, many patients with ASD learn to function independently. However, for those patients with limited decision-making capacity, the practitioner may collaborate with the patient’s authorized decision maker when creating treatment options.
When dealing with patients with limitation in communication, the practitioner should choose the appropriate language fitting to the patient’s language skill level. Also, effective listening and allowing adequate time for patient response can build patient-health provider rapport and strengthen communication. The use of visual aids can prove effective when communicating with nonverbal patients.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Blumberg, S. J., Bramlett, M. D., Kogan, M. D., Schieve, L. A., Jones, J. R., & Lu, M. C. (2013). Changes in prevalence of parent-reported autism spectrum disorder in school-aged U.S. children: 2007 to 2011-2012. National Health Statistics Reports, 65, 1- 1.
Center for disease control and prevention (2018). Autism spectrum disorder: Data and statistics. Retreived from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html
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