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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how kids process certain types of information. It is lifelong and you don’t grow out of it. There’s a lot of variation in how ASD looks from person to person. Some people with an autism diagnosis communicate by speaking. Others use nonverbal communication. There’s also a wide range in intellectual and self-care abilities.

The main struggles of ASD involve social understanding, communication and repetitive routines or behaviours. Many kids with ASD—even those without significant cognitive challenges—have trouble making friends, understanding how to relate to other people and making sense of social cues. There are many ways to support children diagnosed with ASD and many of them thrive in school, in life, and in their communities.

Signs that may indicate that your child has ASD include:

  • Has trouble showing understanding of other people’s feelings and his own

  • Struggles with social skills

  • Avoids eye contact and/or physical contact

  • Has obsessive interests and gets stuck on a single idea

  • Has delayed speech (or no speech) or repeats phrases over and over

  • Is prone to meltdowns due to sensory processing issues, anxiety, frustration or communication difficulties

  • Gets upset by changes in routine

  • Uses excessive body movements to self-soothe (e.g., rocking, flapping hands)

  • Is constantly “on the go” or moving; fidgets and needs to pick up and fiddle with everything

  • Is very advanced verbally, but struggles with nonverbal cues

If your child shows some of these difficulties related to ASD, then one of our experienced team members can help. Contact us for more advice or support.

Some of our favourite activities to support children with ASD are:

  • Set clear expectations and create daily routines.

  • Break directions into smaller chunks and use picture prompts. · Have a plan to manage meltdowns.

  • Use a visual timer or signal to make it easier to transition from one thing to the next.

  • Role-play and teach scripts for social situations. · A sensory diet and activities throughout the day

  • Social stories to present new ideas and situations

  • Being provided with choices to ease anxiety

Registered with the Dutch Occupational Therapy and Educational Psychology Association: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Ergotherapie and Nederlandse Vereniging voor Orthopedagogiek.

 

Achter Sint Pieter 9
3512 HP Utrecht

IBAN: NL41ABNA0415337623

BIC: ABNANL2A

KvK: 27.34.94.75

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