Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art. (Read more in our Glossary)
The Center for Effective Living has extensive experience with the diagnosis of and treatment for autistic persons of all ages, and for supporting families as they help autistic clients to cope. We offer psychological testing for autism and often-related conditions such as OCD, anxiety, ADHD and depression. Other related services include:
- Working with schools directly, or through families, to access resources
- Guardianship evaluations for autistic individuals
- Assisting with Social Security disability applications, including necessary testing
- Helping families learn how to care for and/or support children and other family members with autism
- Empowering autistic teen clients with peer socialization skills through our socialization group.