An autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how the brain functions. People with autism often have difficulty expressing and understanding emotions and language. It also hinders their ability to interact with others and they may have a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviours and become absorbed in limited interests.
ASD often manifests itself at an early age but symptoms might also appear a bit later, when a child is at elementary school for instance. Every child on the spectrum is different. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with the right people who know the child’s behaviour to provide personalized solutions, for the child and family members, that are adapted to their situation.
To better understand how a psychoeducator can help people with autism spectrum disorder, we asked Caroline Boisjoly, a psychoeducator with the Clinique GO team, to answer a few questions about autism spectrum disorders.
First, what are the most common symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)?
There are no physical symptoms associated with ASD. However, in some cases, the individual may exhibit unusual behaviours. For instance, they might repeatedly rock back and forth or flap their arms.
How can a psychodeducator help a child affected by an ASD?
It’s important to understand that the goal of a psychoeducator is to help the person function in their day to day life while taking into account their strengths, interests, and needs. With clients who have an ASD, we can rely on stimulation by helping them work on their social abilities, develop their independence, and work on their learning skills. We also work on helping them manage their behaviours, so they can be better equipped to handle different environments such as their home, daycare, or school.
Can you diagnose a child?
No, psychoeducators cannot diagnose an individual. Only a physician or a neuropsychologist can diagnose a child.
In general, what happens during a session between a psychoeducator and a child affected by an ASD?
Most of the time, a psychoeducator provides practical help. Whether to intervene during an autistic meltdown, help the child develop a routine, practice transitions, or teach them to wait their turn when playing with other kids.
Overall, how do psychoeducators help parents?
Parents are often worried about the future of their child. It’s important to focus on the child’s current abilities and to take it one step at a time. It’s also important to take into account every family member and to take measures to improve everyone’s quality of life.
Clinique GO can provide you with access to psychoeducators who will help you take care of your loved ones in the comfort of your own home. Our high-quality services are designed to promote the well-being of your children and your family. If our professionals detect symptoms that could be associated with an ASD, they will be able to refer your child to a physician or a neuropsychologist for a diagnosis.
Our psychoeducators can meet your child in their home, daycare or school if necessary. Contact us for more information about the treatments available from our mobile clinic!