Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders Specialist
The CDC estimates autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect about 1 in 68 children, interfering with their ability to socialize, communicate and form normal bonds with their peers. The Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine has a successful non-drug history treating ASD in kids from all over the world at both Irvine and Northridge, California locations. The Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine uses brain mapped guided neurofeedback that avoid the use of drugs while helping children and teens improve their core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders along with self-esteem and self-confidence.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Q & A

The Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine

What are autism spectrum disorders?

The term autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that includes previous diagnostic disorders such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It describes a cluster of symptoms that include impaired social interaction and communication. The child may also exhibit restricted interests and behaviors. The symptoms of autism typically are lifelong, becoming apparent during childhood. People with autism have trouble picking up on and interpreting social cues and interactions, making it very difficult to make friends or establish meaningful relationships. Children with ASD may also suffer from depression or significant frustration because of their inability to “connect” with their peers or to function “normally” in social settings including school. They may struggle with low frustration tolerance, ADHD and auditory processing symptoms, and sensory sensitivities.  The word “spectrum” refers to the varying nature of the disorder, which can cause an array of symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. 

What is Asperger’s syndrome?

In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 eliminated the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome or disorder, and its symptoms were now included in the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder. We still find the former diagnostic category of Asperger’s syndrome to be an accurate description of a specific cluster of characteristics in some patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder. There is no delay in speech development and the individual can be highly intelligent. They struggle primarily with understanding nonverbal social cues and their social environment.

What kinds of symptoms does ASD cause?

ASD can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on the severity of the disorder. Some common symptoms include:

  • Delays or problems in speech development and language processing (expressive and/or receptive language deficits)
  • Difficulty making or maintaining eye contact
  • Impaired understanding of nonverbal social cues
  • Difficulty understanding another person’s point of view
  • Talking about a topic excessively without noticing the other person is not interested
  • Lack of reciprocal (back and forth) conversations
  • Very literal or “black and white”
  • Increased sensitivity to light, sound, touch or odors
  • Repetitive rituals or routines that can be very difficult to change
  • Disruptive behaviors, often triggered by being told “no” or by a change in routines
  • Repetitive movements like rocking, hand-flapping, walking on toes or spinning
  • Fixation on ideas or objects
  • Increased levels of activity, agitation or fidgeting
  • Limited food preferences
  • Sleep problems
  • Poor fine motor skills

How is ASD evaluated and treated at the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine?

The Drake Institute with its medical director, Dr. David Velkoff, is a leader in the use of scientific qEEG brain-mapping technology for neurofeedback treatment to identify and improve specific networks or regions in the brain that are linked to the patient’s symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Then with customized neurofeedback protocols for each patient’s needs, the patient through neurofeedback training can improve the “specific networks” that were “misfiring”; thus reducing not only the core symptoms of ASD but frequently co-occurring symptoms of ADHD, emotional instability, anxiety, and sensory sensitivities for life changing results.

As a medical clinic, we have integrated the fields of medicine, psychology, neuropsychology, neurosciences, computer sciences, and family therapy to provide a uniquely exceptional treatment program to improve our patients’ lives.

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The Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine
4330 Barranca Parkway
Suite 130
Irvine, CA 92604