Autism is a developmental condition that affects how people communicate with other people and relate to the world around them; they see, hear and feel the world differently.
Autism is a spectrum condition that shares certain difficulties but vary greatly from person to person and throughout their life. While some will have more subtle difficulties, others will have more complex needs.
What are the red flags?
There are a number of red flags that you and/or your child might notice including:
Difficulty interpreting verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice
A literal understanding of language finding difficult to use or understand facial expressions and jokes
Difficulty “reading” other people and expressing their own emotions
Sensory sensitivity and highly focused interests
Repetitive behavior and routines
What are other problems associated with autism?
People with autism can also present mental and/or physical health problems.
Some of the mental health problems can include:
Appetite problems such as restricted food interests
Some of the physical health problems can include:
Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhoea, gastroesophageal reflux
Immune problems such as allergies, asthma
Metabolic problems such as obesity, diabetes, vitamin D deficiency
What is my approach?
As a first step, I will carry a thorough evaluation with you and/or your child. Screening questionnaires (SNAP IV, Conners comprehensive behavior rating scale, DIVA-5, Social Communication Questionnaire), specific autism diagnostic test (ADI-R and/or ADOS), cognitive assessment, physical examination or liaison with other professionals and school will be provided if you wish.
Once the condition(s) is identified, I will develop a personalized treatment plan jointly with you and/or your child based on personal needs. The treatment will include an integrated approach and with the right support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life.
This can include:
Information and support to better understand and cope (psychoeducation)
Personal development and self-improvement
Person-centred talking therapy such as interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, play therapy, social skills therapy
Tailored learning techniques and/or behaviour learning plan with school when appropriate
Mind-body centre exercise to increase the relaxation response
Empower parents through positive parenting techniques
Promote a healthy lifestyle through exercise, diet and micronutrients
State-of-the-art medication when appropriate