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Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, PLLC

Psychiatrists located in Chapel Hill, NC

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses a range of conditions that affect social behavior and communication skills. Although a lifelong disorder, treatments can improve symptoms and functional ability. At Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, PLLC, Allison Foroobar, MD has extensive training and experience in the diagnosis of ASD and the management of its symptoms. If you’re concerned that your child might have an autism spectrum disorder, call the office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, today or book an appointment online.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Q & A

What is ASD?

Autism spectrum disorders are developmental brain disorders that result in problems with social and communication skills. Symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life, but autism can be diagnosed at any age.  

Children and adults who have ASD can range from being only mildly impaired to having severe disabilities, and diagnoses can include what was previously called Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified.

What are the symptoms of ASD?

Difficulty with social communication and interaction, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors can be signs of ASD.  Not all people with ASD exhibit classic behaviors, but these may include:

  • Making inconsistent eye contact
  • Being unresponsive to someone calling their name
  • Having difficulty with back and forth conversation
  • Having mismatched facial expressions or gestures with what is being said
  • Having difficulty understanding other people’s actions or facial expressions
  • Repeating certain behaviors or phrases
  • Having an intense interest in certain topics
  • Becoming upset by slight changes in a routine
  • Being more or less sensitive to sensory input - light, noise, clothing
  • Being able to learn and remember things in great detail

Not all children who have autism display the same symptoms and many children who don’t have ASD might have some of these symptoms.  Early assessment and diagnosis can improve access to services and treatment.

How is ASD treated?

ASD is a part of who your child is, and isn’t something that needs a cure. Treatment involves helping your child adapt to their different view of the world and manage the problems they encounter.  Treatment should ideally begin as soon as possible after diagnosis to begin learning new skills.  

Treatments may also include medications to treat symptoms of aggression, hyperactivity, or symptoms of depression and anxiety.  Behavioral, psychological, and educational therapy programs can help to reduce challenging behaviors, build upon strengths, improve social and communication skills, and learn life skills.  

Treatment can be provided by developmental pediatricians, child psychiatrists, child psychologists, speech and occupational therapists, as well as via school-based interventions.  

For an individualized autism action plan that brings out your child’s true potential, call Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, PLLC, today or book an appointment online.