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