Autism Spectrum Disorders
(Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, &
Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not
Otherwise Specified)
Autism/Asperger's Disorder:

- Children on the autism spectrum grow up to be
adults on the autism spectrum (this may seem obvious,
but it is frequently overlooked).

- Adults with an autism spectrum disorder often
develop skills which can mask their diagnosis (e.g.,
learn to maintain some eye contact, develop a career
based upon their circumscribed interests, learn the
meaning of familiar metaphors).

- Children and adults with an autism spectrum
disorder are often first diagnosed with ADHD,
Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorder,
Bipolar Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, or
Nonverbal Learning Disorder.

- Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder may be
quiet and seem shy and introverted, or they may be
very talkative and seem friendly, but they are often
socially inappropriate and have difficulty "reading"
nonverbal cues.

- Not all individuals with Asperger's Disorder have
superior cognitive skills...they can be in the average
range, too.

- The specific problems experienced vary and are
often influenced by the person's stage of human
development and life experiences.

- Even though individuals with Asperger's Disorder
may have a large vocabulary, they are not always
adept at finding the right words to adequately
express what they are trying to say and can become
quite frustrated.

- Many of the problem behaviors or "meltdowns"
associated with an autism spectrum disorder are in
response to sensory stimuli or sensory needs or result
from frustration when trying to communicate with
others.

- Children with Asperger's Disorder often have no
difficulty with schoolwork until around the 4th or 5th
grade when their peers begin understanding abstract
concepts and there are greater demands for
note-taking and organized written assignments.

- Although individuals with Asperger's Disorder are
known for their honesty (and bluntness), they are
capable of lying.

- Considerations for psychotherapy may include mood
management, anger/stress management, identification
of sensory needs, behavior modification, coping skills
to decrease anxiety, social/interpersonal skill
development, education about autism spectrum
disorders for the individual and family members,
emotional support for parents and siblings,
development of time management and organizational
skills, development of adaptive skills, life coaching,
career planning, and development of problem-solving
skills.

***If you are interested in obtaining a diagnostic
evaluation (for yourself or your child) for a possible
autism spectrum disorder using highly recommended,
standardized assessments in conjunction with
developmental history and clinical impression, call now
to schedule an appointment - 719/473-9200.