Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect communication, social functioning and behaviour. It can be experienced in many age groups. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that signs and symptoms are observed on a continuum, which means each individual will experience autism differently. Common behaviours and characteristics include:
- Difficulty communicating and interacting with others
- Repetitive behaviours
- Difficulty adapting to change and/or preference for routines
- Strong interest in a particular topic
- Strong sensory reactions
There is no known exact or definitive cause of autism, however, it is believed that ASD occurs due to changes to the development and growth of the brain. Environmental and genetic factors are suspected to be possible underlying causes of this. Research is aiming to find out more.
Psychology and Autism
Given the diverse and complex nature of ASD, treatment varies in each case. An interdisciplinary approach is recommended, with a team of health professionals, such as specialist doctors, integrative doctors, naturopaths, occupational therapists, and psychologists, working together to ensure the best outcomes for patients.
At Integrated Wellness Clinic, our Sunshine Coast Psychologists Dr Glenda Lattimore and Deborah Vanzoelen are experienced in diagnosing ASD, in both adults and children, and working with their patients to identify their strengths and help manage their challenges.
Our Psychologists make specific recommendations based on an individual’s behavioural, emotional, cognitive and academic needs. As these needs change, our Psychologists modify treatment plans. They support patients and their families through key life transitions, which may include starting school or moving into adulthood. As well as this, a Psychologist can help with specific challenges that may arise for patients with ASD and their families, including anxiety and mood disorders, sleeping problems, social skills, and employment. Whilst ASD is a lifelong condition, a Psychologist can provide support and enable children and adults with ASD to function at their best.
Whether you a reading this for yourself or for a loved one, and whether or not you have received a diagnosis, our Psychologists are here to help you.
You do not need a referral from your doctor to see our Psychology Practitioners, however, doing so may attract a medicare rebate. Please contact Integrated Wellness Clinic for more information.