Teen Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Teen Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a progressive brain disorder that mainly affects teens’ social communication and interpersonal behaviors. Autism is generally detected at the age of three years. Early identification and treatment can help manage the symptoms of this disorder and its ramifications. Parents are usually the first to observe the early signs of autism. However, teachers, day-care providers, caregivers and pediatricians also play a pivotal role in detecting and treating this disorder.
According to The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of one in every 110 children in the USA suffers from ASD. Boys are more prone to this mental disorder than girls are.
Teens with ASD have trouble with decision-making. Research shows that they may experience difficulty with organization, starting activities, memory ability and flexibility. Intellectual flexibility is a major issue for these teens and it remains a key problem as they get older. Teens with Autism spectrum disorder need continuous support and guidance from their teachers and parents to keep track of their books and assignments for each class, to complete school projects and homework in a timely manner, and to follow multifaceted directions.
Teens with this particular mental disorder require guidance and understanding during the early years of puberty in order to embrace their sexual maturity and bodily changes without worry and panic.
Many teens with ASD forget to take a shower and shave. They don’t understand the importance of grooming and what is socially acceptable with respect to hygiene standards. Studies show that teens with ASD are less interested in taking part in social activities because of the anxiety associated with their learning disabilities, such as their inability to express themselves and communicate verbally or in written form. This leads to extreme loneliness and the inability to maintain friendships and other relationships.
Causes of Teen ASD
To date, the exact cause of Teen ASD is unknown. While there have been many differing opinions and controversy regarding the etymology of ASD, it is believed that several factors may contribute to this mental disorder, such as:
- Complications at birth
- Anomalies in brain structure
- Inheritances and genetics
- Certain types of infections
Symptoms of Teen ASD
Autism symptoms can be detected in the first few months of the child’s birth. However, the signs are more noticeable when the child reaches school age. They experience difficulty in adjusting to their new environment. Many children exhibit autism symptoms between one to three years of age. Others exhibit more noticeable symptoms in their teenage years as they struggle with the use of language, expression, communication, and understanding the instructions of the teacher, thus causing them to withdraw socially.
Teens with ASD may have various symptoms as follows:
- Difficulty in understanding another’s instruction
- Difficulty in reading and decoding body language, facial expressions and voices of others
- Inability to maintain friendships or interact with other people
- Difficulty in speaking, communicating and understanding a language
- Repetitive behaviors like arm flapping, head banging
- Unfamiliar responses to sensual experiences like lights and sound
- Preference to be alone
- Demanding other teens to play by their rules
- Trouble understanding the social rules of friendship
- Having unusual obsessions
- Having unusual attachment to a specific object
- Inability to change routine or daily rituals
- Tendency towards awkward sounds like mumbling, yelling, and throat clearing
- Easily upset and frequent erratic mood changes
- Sleep difficulty; trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Anxiety regarding a new environment, or social setting
- Frustration leading to aggression
Treatment at Hillcrest
Autism cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be improved through proper treatment. In fact, there is no single treatment available for autism. Teens with ASD require continuous support and treatment, such as speech therapy, individual education programming, special education services, physical therapy, psychological therapy, physical exercises, medication and a healthy balanced diet.
Hillcrest is a well-equipped rehabilitation facility in a state of the art, green oasis, and peaceful, luxurious environment. With its stellar team of highly trained professionals, and varied individualized therapeutic programs and extra-curricular activities, ASD can be improved and managed effectively to sustain long-term healing and healthy acclimation within society.