What is autism spectrum disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behaviour. It is usually detected early in life, most commonly after the age of 2, but may not be fully diagnosed until adulthood. It occurs in all ethnic, racial and socio-economic groups.
Autism is known as a spectrum disorder because there is wide variation in the effects that people experience. No two children are the same, making individualized treatment especially important. One person’s experience of the spectrum can vary and change during different stages in life.
How might ASD impact a child’s life?
Autism can affect communication, social and interpersonal relationships, sensory awareness, and practical life skills. Each child experiences autism differently, and it can change over time.
We put your child’s needs at the centre
We provide individual therapy plans centred around your child’s specific requirements. By working with a Family Needs Coordinator on our team, you’ll be able to identify the services your child needs, when they need them.
For children with autism (ASD), we currently offer programs that combine Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) and Occupational Therapy (OT). We also provide Autism Diagnosis, Psychoeducational Assessments, and Respite for families.
We bring experts to the table
Papillon Family Health takes an interdisciplinary approach, seeking input from professionals with a range of backgrounds. This interdisciplinary approach is widely accepted as one of the most effective techniques in the treatment of ASD. (For more info, see our resource article, What is Interdisciplinary Therapy?).
Our team collaborates with you
When we welcome new families at Papillon Family Health, we collaborate to create an interdisciplinary strategy for each child. We emphasize two-way communication with families because we know that’s what works best.
As your child progresses on their learning journey, our Family Needs Coordinator is on hand to continually ensure the care plan provides the most effective treatments available. Programs can be adapted to fit their growing needs.
Your input is welcomed
We consider our centre a support network for families caring for children with ASD. Our collaborative approach means that parents play an active role. You are welcome to engage with our staff to ask questions or discuss your child’s hopes, fears and goals.
We offer a broad range of therapies
Our customized programs combine different types of accepted autism therapies. Services we may recommend for your child’s program include:
- ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) – A safe and effective treatment that helps children with ASD to develop the skills they need to make progress. ABA techniques can help to increase language and communication skills, improve attention and memory, encourage social skills, assist academic learning and decrease behaviours that interfere with learning.
- SLP (Speech-Language Pathology) – Children with ASD can often experience speech and language delays and difficulties. A Speech-Language Pathologist is trained to work with children refining their spoken language, improving non-verbal communication, or introducing new communication methods such as sign language, picture communication, or adaptive devices.
- Occupational Therapy – Children with ASD often have a variety of unique needs, involving limited mobility, sensory issues and behavioural challenges. An Occupational Therapist (OT) is a qualified specialist trained to assess each individual child’s development and interaction with their environment. Occupational Therapy (OT) assists with skill-building to enhance the child’s abilities and independence.
We treat the whole child
ASD may be associated with additional medical conditions such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal and immune dysregulation. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression may be common too.
Our specialists assess your child’s ASD diagnosis in the context of their overall physical and mental health. This whole-child perspective informs the customized therapy programs we create.
Family Needs Coordinator
Feeling confused or stressed? You’re not alone. Families often need help navigating the support and services that are available for children with autism. This is where our Family Needs Coordinator can help.
As the first point of support for parents, she helps match children with the specific services they need right now. You might already know what your child needs, or you may need help discovering the options. We’ll meet you wherever you are.
By combining empathy with expansive knowledge, our coordinator will:
- Help you create a plan that meets your child’s specific needs
- Identify funding sources that may be available
- Advise as you fill in forms that may be required for treatment and funding
- Liase with other organizations involved in your child’s life
We adapt to your needs
Our programs are available in our centre, in your home, or virtually.
To learn more about how we can help your child, reach out to set up a consultation with our Family Needs Coordinator.