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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism)?

Girl with autism
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Solstice Behavioral Health and Consulting is a team of experts and a community of support for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD, commonly referred to as Autism, is a group of complex disorders characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication, and behavior. ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that delays the development of basic skills like socializing, communicating, and developing independent living skills. Under the leadership of our resident ABA therapy specialist Dr. Solandy Forte, Solstice BHC provides families in Fairfield County and surrounding communities with the most effective treatment for ASD.

What causes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Scientists and doctors have not found a root cause for ASD, but some research suggests genetics and environment are key factors. 

How is a person diagnosed with ASD?

ASD can be difficult to diagnose because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to confirm the disorder. Instead, specialized doctors and trained staff like the one at Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting consider the child’s developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis. You can read more in our Early Diagnosis and Intervention informational article.

What are the symptoms of ASD?

ASD by definition is a spectrum of neurodevelopmental conditions, which can make it difficult to differentiate from other disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, ASD is experienced differently from person to person. That is why our diagnoses can take a few visits and times of observation.

That being said, there are some early indications of ASD that we look for, including:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Little interest in caretakers or other children
  • Delayed Speech and Communication
  • Upset by even minor changes in routine
  • Excessive interest in an item
  • Using objects in a repetitive manner
  • Repetitive speech that is not directed to another person

a child working on a puzzle, possibly has an autism spectrum disorder

How Is ASD Treated?

Early diagnosis and proper treatment can improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function. Someone who is “on the spectrum” has individual support needs. With consistent and appropriate care, children can benefit from receiving the help they need to help reduce difficulties in learning and reduce the symptoms of ASD. Solstice Behavioral Health Center uses Applied Behavior Analysis to help each child reinforce behaviors that will help them develop into adolescence and adulthood.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)? 

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to understanding behavior that focuses on how behaviors change or are affected by the environment. Our team of certified technicians and specialists will systematically implement ABA strategies to identify how your child is learning and how his/her behavior changed in reaction to certain events. 

5 Ways ABA can help individuals with ASD

  1. ABA can be used to increase behaviors, such as active listening with little to no distraction. 
  2. ABA can be used to teach a student new skills, such as mathematics or daily living skills like brushing their teeth.
  3. ABA can be used to maintain behaviors, for example, reading sight words that were learned previously.
  4. ABA can be used to help individuals transfer behavior from one situation to another. For example, learning to actively listen in our facility will help them listen and learn at school and at home.
  5. ABA can be used to reduce interfering or challenging behaviors.

Our experienced team of trained specialists can help you and your child learn more about living with ASD. With the assistance of the Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting team, you will learn how to encourage the development of your child and create a team of support. Find out more about how ABA therapy can help your child succeed.

We Believe That Early Diagnosis & Intervention Is Key.