Autism

companionshipWhat is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (otherwise referred to as “Autism”) is characterized by impairments in three domain areas:

  1. Social Interaction
  2. Communication
  3. Restricted and repetitive behaviors

Although the specific cause for Autism is unknown, research links Autism to biological or neurological factors in the brain. Additional details on Autism Spectrum Disorder can be found here.

Social Features

  • Lack of awareness of others
  • Difficulties seeking or maintaining peer relationships
  • Impairment in initiating or sustaining a conversation

Communication

  • Language and speech impairments
  • Abnormalities in the form or content of speech
  • May have high pitched or monotone speech

Repetitive and/or restricted behaviors

  • Repetitive body movements
  • Preoccupation with specific objects or topics of interest
  • Marked distress or resistance to changes; difficulty with transitions or changes to scheduled routines

Cognitive Development

  • Cognitive abilities can range from slight impairment to no impairment; not all individuals diagnosed with Autism have low intellectual functioning
  • Difficulties with abstract thinking
  • May have surprisingly good musical, mathematical, or visual-spatial abilities, despite profound deficits in social areas

Motor behavioral Abnormalities

  • Poor fine/gross motor skill coordination

Altered Sensitivity to Sensory Input:

  • Can be over-sensitive or insensitive to physical sensations

Abnormalities of Mood

  • May have display inappropriate affect in social environments
  • May display no emotional response in social environments
  • May experience a lack of fear of dangerous objects and/or activities
  • May experience abnormalities in eating, drinking and sleeping patterns
  • May participate in self-injurious behaviors

Intervention: Treatment and Management

Research and experience has supported the notion that individuals diagnosed with Autism respond well to a highly structured, specialized educational program, tailored to the individual’s needs. Autistic individuals have been found to be successful in organized environments where rules and expectations are clear and consistent.

Services Available

  • Independent Living Programs
  • Adaptive Skills Training Programs
  • Behavior Modification
  • Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
  • Special Education Services
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Sensory Integration Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Day Treatment Programs and Residential Placement
  • Psychotherapy
  • Social Skills Groups

Addressing the Needs of the Consumer

  • We assist the Autistic consumers in social environments and train them to appropriately engage with others.
  • We utilize role-playing to help Autistic consumers understand appropriate social interactions with peers and authorities.
  • We instruct Autistic individuals on proper etiquette both in the home and in the community.
  • We assist Autistic consumers in locating and connecting to various community and social groups in their community.

Social Features

  • Lack of awareness of others
  • Difficulties seeking or maintaining peer relationships
  • Impairment in initiating or sustaining a conversation