Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorder refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, nonverbal communication, and sensory problems. Autism spectrum disorder can be due to genetic and environmental influences. The word “spectrum” in the disorder reflects the variations that the disorder may have. Those with Autism may have various strengths and challenges unique to them. Autism spectrum disorder is generally diagnosed after age 2 and up. Autism spectrum disorder is considered a neurological condition and affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. Counseling can help to improve social skills, sensory issues, and life transitions.

How might myself, someone I know, or my child identify with having Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Most individual’s with Autism Spectrum Disorder generally start showing signs in early infancy or during their toddler years. As a parent, you may notice your child lacks giving eye contact, may appear indifferent to caretakers, and are not as responsive to people. As they age, you may notice repetitive behaviors such as needing things done a certain way or lining up toy cars. You may also notice odd, lack of, or problems with social interaction among peers. Some individual’s on the Autism spectrum may have excessively high intelligence, however, fail to communicate and apply these skills in an appropriate way. Every individual is unique and some behaviors may differ, however, these are some of the general signs and symptoms. Other signs and symptoms include the following:​

  • Fails to respond to his or her name or appears not to hear you at times
  • Resists cuddling and holding, and seems to prefer playing alone, retreating into his or her own world
  • Has poor eye contact and lacks facial expression
  • Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech, or loses previous ability to say words or sentences
  • Can’t start a conversation or keep one going, or only starts one to make requests or label items
  • Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm and may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
  • Repeats words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them
  • Doesn’t appear to understand simple questions or directions
  • Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others’ feelings
  • Doesn’t point at or bring objects to share interest
  • Inappropriately approaches a social interaction by being passive, aggressive or disruptive
  • Has difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues, such as interpreting other people’s facial expressions, body postures or tone of voice
  • Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand flapping
  • Performs activities that could cause self-harm, such as biting or head-banging
  • Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change
  • Has problems with coordination or has odd movement patterns, such as clumsiness or walking on toes, and has odd, stiff or exaggerated body language
  • Is fascinated by details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but doesn’t understand the overall purpose or function of the object
  • Is unusually sensitive to light, sound or touch, yet may be indifferent to pain or temperature
  • Doesn’t engage in imitative or make-believe play
  • Fixates on an object or activity with abnormal intensity or focus
  • Has specific food preferences, such as eating only a few foods, or refusing foods with a certain texture

Have more questions? Feel free to contact me for a free 20 minute consultation or to schedule an appointment!

Peaks Counseling
6021 S. Syracuse Way #201,
Greenwood Village, CO 80111