Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of an individual. Autism is referred to be a “ spectrum “ disorder since the kind and intensity of symptoms that people experience vary greatly.
Clinical features of Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Poor communication and social interaction
- Poor play skills
- Stereotypical behaviors
- Insistence on sameness
- Struggle in performing activities of daily living
- Poor social skills
- Poor body awareness
Treatment methods for Autism
There are various treatment methods for managing the features of Autism thereby improving their daily living skills and quality of life. Most autistic children respond best to highly structured and specialized programs like occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavior therapy, and special education.
Occupational therapy plays an important role in improving the quality of life of an autistic child. Treatment approaches used in occupational therapy include sensory integration, play therapy, behavioral modification Approach, cognitive frame of reference, etc. Occupational therapy interventions include assisting children with impairments in fully participating in School and social circumstances, as well as assisting children in regaining skills after developmental delays. Being independent in all daily living skills is the first step towards an independent life. In order to achieve all the basic skills, occupational therapy plays an important role. It mainly focuses on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, cognitive-perceptual skills, and ADL and IADL skills of an individual.
A conscious or unconscious suppression of natural autistic responses is known as autistic masking or compensating. It occurs most commonly in high functioning autistic individuals. It is more common in girls and women as compared to males. Some compensating techniques include continuously being aware of stimming activities and trying to hide it from nonautistic individuals or trying to make eye contact during a conversation.
Signs of Masking
- Struggle in socializing unfamiliar environment
- Lack of communication flow
- Hypo active or hyperactive to sensory input
ADHD Masking is similar to Autism masking which is pretending that they are not living with ADHD. It is also known as impression management.
Signs of Masking
ADHD masking includes sitting quietly on a bench without squirming in one’s seat, hiding hyperactivity with calmness.