Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism includes problems with communication, repetitive behaviours and perception, is commoner in boys. It has a huge impact on one’s day-to-day life.
It includes Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. It affects one in hundred people. The causes are unknown. Genetics play a huge part in development of this condition.

There appears to be no link between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder. Hence avoiding childhood vaccinations can put the child and others in danger of catching and spreading serious diseases.

Autism Symptoms and signs

Poor eye contact, preoccupations with routines and extreme agitation when these routines are broken, distress when there is a sudden change in plans, playing in isolation, struggling in a group, poor communication, struggling to pick up social cues, difficulty in maintaining relationships, difficulty in showing compassion/empathy, depression, anxiety

Diagnosis is established based on a comprehensive assessment which involves taking a detailed history and is seen by a psychiatrist after a referral is made by the GP.
This involves a series of clinical reviews where comprehensive history is taken, observing patient’s behaviours, obtaining some collateral information and reviewing school reports.

Complications include problems with social interaction, communication and behaviour which can lead to difficulties at school in establishing friendships, poor outcomes when it comes to learning, employment difficulties, struggling to live independently, social isolation, stressful daily life, being harassed and bullied.

There isn’t a way to prevent autism spectrum disorder, but early diagnosis and treatment helps in improving the quality of life and reducing the intensity of symptoms. It cannot be cured.

Treatments include:

  • Psychology
  • Medications in certain cases

Compliance with treatment, establishing good sleep hygiene, engaging with your psychiatrist, understanding your illness, avoidance of drugs and alcohol will all go a long way in maintaining positive health and improve quality of life. In some very severe cases, the above will help in reducing the intensity and frequency of symptoms.

At We Care Clinic in Rockhampton, Dr Pramod – Psychiatrist, provides assessment and treatment of the following mental illnesses:

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