- Does your child or teen have difficulty reading social cues?
- Does your child or teen express emotions intensely?
- Does your child or teen seem to march to the beat of their own drum?
- Does your child or teen engage in inflexible thinking that leads to issues at school or home?
- Has someone recommended that your child be tested for Autism?
If you answered yes, then an Autism Evaluation might be right for you.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that has not been well understood until very recently. Because of this, many individuals have been altogether missed or diagnosed with another label. Although there are certain, specific identifying traits and characteristics which present themselves in early childhood, these traits and characteristics are not limited to the very exaggerated or stereotyped behaviors seen on media. Thus, autism can present differently for individuals based on their own likes, preferences, personality, and background.
Generally, autistic individuals , from a very young age, experience difficulties with social communication and relating. This does not mean that they are not interested in social relationships. Just like anyone else, some autistic children will be interested in socializing and others will not; it’s about personality and make-up. But, what is universal, is that autistic children and teens will find it difficult to make sense of the give and take of social communication, to interpret the non-verbal and gray areas of communication, and will sometimes say things in a way that society has predetermined to be inappropriate even though it wasn’t the intention of the individual at all. Some autistic children and teens are delayed in verbal communication or never verbally communicate, while others are highly verbose. Because socializing can be so much extra work, many autistic children and teens just give up trying.
Also present in autistic individuals are restrictive patterns of behavior or thinking and inflexibility to thinking, acting, or accepting others’ behaviors beyond what they have fixed-upon as the only acceptable way in their minds. Their explanations may seem very irrational to others, but are very sensical in their linear way of thinking. This can lead to difficulty with emotional regulation when they become frustrated and cannot understand why they must be forced to accept what makes absolutely no sense to them. Also often present is difficulty with executive functioning, such as organizing, planning, activating themselves to begin an undesired task, and maintaining enough energy to complete the task.
Young autistic children may continue with parallel play beyond what is expected, and engage in either fantastical story making or limit their use of toys to non-imaginative play such as sorting and arranging which is quite enjoyable to them. School age autistic children and teens can show difficulty with listening comprehension and reading comprehension. By third grade, writing can become a laborious task they try to avoid. Autistic children and teens may also exhibit difficulty with independence skills, self-care, sleep patterns, diet and nutrition, anxiety, depression, and identity development. In late adolescence and early adulthood, autistic individuals are often labeled as eccentric, quirky, or aloof.
This evaluation provides a written report and feedback session that confirms the presence of the diagnosis or that provides evidence of other possible indicators for the challenges being experienced with recommendations for further testing and support. The process is compassionate and guided, leading to potentially life changing growth for clients. The process culminates with an hour and a half long discussion, followed by a report approximately two weeks later, and then another discussion to support the internal processes experienced by the individual and family, and to guide the subsequent steps moving forward. An observation is included within 15 miles of the clinic.
Ready to get started?
The overwhelm, exhaustion, and loss of motivation from life taking so much more effort doesn’t have to continue. If you are in search of answers to your own or your child’s learning, emotional, memory, attention, or focus difficulties, please reach out; you are not alone. Call (408) 628-0532 or Text (408) 628-0532 now to schedule an assessment for your child. Campbell Teen & Family Therapy, Inc. (CTFT) is proud to provide services for Campbell, San Jose and the entire Bay Area!