More commonly known now as autism spectrum disorder, autism is a disorder in the development of social and communication skills. The autism spectrum includes Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, and autism.
It is now referred to as a spectrum because the symptoms can vary significantly in severity and type. Studies suggest that boys are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder over girls, at a rate of four or five to one. The most common symptoms include obsessive and repetitive behaviors, like stacking and organizing, inability to maintain eye contact, and poor social skills.
How therapy can help
While autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong neurological condition, doctors and therapists have been working hard to develop management strategies and habits to mitigate some of the more disruptive symptoms. Autism is usually identified in children at around two or three years old when language and behavioral growth becomes stunted or regressive. As soon as autism is diagnosed, many families begin seeking treatments options available to their family and their lifestyles. These treatment sessions can help families and patients build the necessary skills to cope with stressful situations and to understand social cues and behaviors.
Treatments for autism spectrum disorder often focus on building these skills through behavioral and communication training therapies. Basic social skills (like reading facial expressions, looking people in the eye, firm handshakes, responding appropriately to questions, smiling, and making introductions) can be practiced until they become more natural. Medications may also be used to assist those with autism spectrum disorder.
Psychologists and psychiatrists for treatment of autism
Psychiatrists and psychologists both have important parts to play in treating autism spectrum disorders. They are both doctors focused on mental health, but there are some differences. Psychiatrists are doctors who are focused on biological and chemical solutions and treatments, and they can prescribe medicine to patients.
Psychologists are more focused on talk therapies, Psychiatrists, therefore, can prescribe medicine and will understand the interaction of overall health with the disorder. Psychologists will have other training and interventions they utilize that assist in unique and specific autism treatments for their patients.
For treatment for autism near Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina or Fayetteville, call Fayetteville Psychiatric Associates at 910-323-1543 for access to our mental health professionals including both psychologists and psychiatrists.