Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person.
Loading the player...Autism and Behaviour Dr. Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist, discusses causes and diagnosis of behavioral problems with autism.
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So children with autism can have behavioral problems that are intrinsic, that are part of the autism, and they can have behavioral problems that are due to additional or secondary mental health problems.
So the problems that are intrinsic to the autism are the hypersensitivity to sound, which can make the children want to run away if they hear a loud noise, become unable to go to a birthday party because they can't deal with the sound of a balloon popping, can't go to school because it's too noisy, and there are too many kids. Real difficulty with change, these kids are probably, as a result of their many different needs, develop a very fixed need for routine, they like things done in just a certain way, which can be quite rigid.
And the kids actually often kind of thrive in that environment, but life gets in the way. You never know when there's going to be a Pro-D day at school. The kid doen't go to school on friday, he freaks out, because it's not expected. Or the mother's sick and can't take him to an activity. So these children don't do well with change at all. So change in the environment, which can be expected or unexpected. Most families who are concerned about their child will consult their family doctor or pediatrician, and they can then get referred to a psychologist, or in certain parts of North America like British Columbia, there are specific clinics that just diagnose children with autism. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optimal for overall health. Presenter: Dr. Robin Friedlander, Psychiatrist, Burnaby, BC
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One of the problems and core features of autism is difficulties in social interaction.
Sometimes as the children get a little older, they want to have interactions with other children but they don't know how. So they may barge into a conversation, and the other kids look at them and are not very tolerant because they don't understand that the kid doesn't really get it. There are certain un-returned intrinsic rules of social interaction that most of us just get. We just get it. It's somehow hardwired into us.
Other children and autistic children in particular have to have these rules of social engagement taught; otherwise, they get upset, the other kids get upset and it's not good. And what's worse, these kids get very frustrated and can end up getting aggressive. One example of what can be done for children with autism who have these problems in social interaction is to train them in social skills. An example of this is to work to develop a script as if you're in a movie on what to do when you meet other children.
Apart from the social script training, we also use a lot of picture communication training so children with autism often have real problems with language and we all know that a picture can tell a thousand words so we use a picture that maybe reminds the child what to do when they meet another child which might be a picture of the child waving and saying hello, might be as simple as that.
If your child is exhibiting any of these signs that suggest autism, you need to contact your family doctor, pediatrician and get referred for a diagnose of autism which is usually done by a psychologist or a psychiatrist who's trained in the diagnosis of autism. Presenter: Dr. Robin Friedlander, Psychiatrist, Burnaby, BC