The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. People with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
Types of ASD
Autistic Disorder Symptoms
(WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/symptoms-of-autism; WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/aspergers-symptoms-signs; Brain Balance, https://www.brainbalancecenters.com/blog/signs-and-symptoms-of-pdd-nos)
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
DTT uses step-by-step instructions to teach a desired behavior or response. Lessons are broken down into their simplest parts, and desired answers and behaviors are rewarded. Undesired answers and behaviors are ignored.
Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
PRT takes place in a natural setting rather than clinic setting. The goal of PRT is to improve a few “pivotal skills” that will help the person learn many other skills. One example of a pivotal skill is to initiate communication with others.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
It’s based on the idea that negative actions or feelings are the results of current distorted beliefs or thoughts, not unconscious forces from the past. CBT is a blend of
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and Language Therapy helps to improve the person’s understanding and use of speech and language. Some people with ASD communicate verbally. Others may communicate through the use of signs, gestures, pictures, or an electronic communication device.
This teaches skills that help the person live as independently as possible. Skills may include dressing, eating, bathing, and relating to people. Occupational therapy can also include:
Sensory Integration Therapy
Helps improve responses to sensory input that may be restrictive or overwhelming.
Helps improve physical skills, such as fine movements of the fingers or larger movements of the trunk and body.
Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
This is a broad developmental approach based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. It is used with children 12-48 months of age. Parents and therapists use play, social exchanges, and shared attention in natural settings to improve language, social, and learning skills.
Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH)
TEACCH is based on the idea that people with autism thrive on consistency and visual learning. It provides teachers with ways to adjust the classroom structure and improve academic and other outcomes.
Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based Model
Also called Floor Time, it encourages parents and therapists to follow the interests of the individual to expand opportunities for communication.
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
This model involves activities that increase motivation, interest, and abilities to participate in shared social interactions.
Using stories to provide simple descriptions of what to expect in a social situation.
Social Skills Groups
Groups that provide opportunities for people with ASD to practice social skills in a structured environment.
Complementary and Alternative
Complementary and alternative treatments are often used to supplement more traditional approaches. They might include special diets, herbal supplements, chiropractic care, animal therapy, arts therapy, mindfulness, or relaxation therapies. Individuals and families should always talk to their doctor before starting a complementary and alternative treatment.
There are no medications that treat the core symptoms of ASD. Some medications treat co-occurring symptoms that can help people with ASD function better. For example, medication might help manage high energy levels, inability to focus, or self-harming behavior, such as head banging or hand biting. Medication can also help manage co-occurring psychological conditions, such as anxiety or depression, in addition to medical conditions such as seizures, sleep problems, or stomach or other gastrointestinal problems.
For a comprehensive list of McFarlin books about ASD consult our library catalog. Some ebooks may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.
For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.
You may want to get help for ASD if it begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you.
This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:
Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline