How is ASD diagnosed & treated?
The diagnosis process carefully assesses social and communication skills, restricted and repetitive interests and stereotyped patterns of behaviour.
The aim of an assessment is to answer one diagnostic question i.e. does the individual meet the criteria for autism spectrum disorder? The diagnosis process carefully assesses social and communication skills, restricted and repetitive interests and stereotyped patterns of behaviour.
The diagnostic assessment generally includes:
For someone who might have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a positive diagnosis can help them and those close to them to understand the behaviours that were isolating, confusing and often upsetting.
Young children who are diagnosed with ASD are able to access the types of services that can significantly improve their prospects for a meaningful life (early intervention). Adolescents and adults, who may have disguised or compensated for their communication or other impairments prior to the diagnosis, are able to access services that will support their ability to interact socially, improve their employment opportunities and their ability to have meaningful relationships.
Choosing one of the many forms of treatment available to meet the person’s individual needs can be difficult.
For the parent, carer or partner of a person with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), choosing one of the many forms of treatment available to meet the person’s individual needs can be difficult.
Of the types of treatment that are available to people, many are reputable and informed approaches that are beneficial to both the individual and their family. But in other instances, the claims made in support of treatments and their potential for success are unsustainable and misleading.
Treatments that offer a ‘cure’ or ‘recovery’ should be avoided because there is no evidence to support either claim. Even more modest claims of success should be scrutinised thoroughly to ensure that the proposed outcomes are evidence informed.
The broad range of impairments and the varying degrees to which people are affected means that one approach will not be suitable to every individual. An evidence informed approach that encourages activities that support the individual’s strengths and interests are proven to be the most credible forms of treatment.