Have you ever been told that you don't communicate well? Are you socially awkward? Are you quirky? Is making friends difficult? Are you hard to deal with? If you answered yes to any of these, it may be worth taking a deeper look inside.
What is “the Spectrum”?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by impaired social communication skills and restrictive, repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests with unusual sensory responses. Autism affects individuals differently and to varying degrees, which can fluctuate throughout their lifespan. It presents differently in males and females and can be challenging to diagnose due to the fluctuation of symptoms and functioning. The milder cases of autism can allow many people to adapt and function without significant difficulties in life, while more severe cases can hinder functioning and make life more challenging.
Autism diagnoses have increased in recent years as we've come to understand that many individuals have mild forms of autism and have developed adaptive skills to succeed in life. However, they may still encounter minor challenges in specific areas. In young adults, autism can significantly impact relationships with friends, romantic partners, and navigating the transition to college or the workforce, as well as learning to become independent.
Why is diagnosis important?
While there is no specific medication to cure autism, various therapies and medication options are available to make life more manageable and alleviate difficulties. Early diagnosis of autism and implementing interventions have a significant positive impact on the developmental outcomes of children and young adults.
If you think that you may need a further evaluation for autism, there is no harm in this. When meeting with a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a thorough evaluation will be conducted to look at current issues that you are facing, trends of behaviors throughout life, developmental traits, quirks/ oddities, and unusual/ atypical behaviors that may be of concern. Due to the thoroughness of this evaluation, it may take multiple sessions to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Then, we can collaboratively establish goals and create a treatment plan to improve your functioning in life. This may involve medication, as well as exploring other beneficial interventions and therapies.
If you would like to schedule a consultation to address your concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are all here to assist you in becoming the best version of yourself!