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ASD: What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Dr. Paul Gelston will help us understand the signs and symptoms of ASD, How to assist children with ASD, who to turn to for diagnosis, and the role of schools and educators to help children with ASD. Watching this video will help you learn all you need to know about supporting children with ASD.

Dr. Paul Gelston is a clinical psychologist at the Dubai Community Health Centre. He works with both adults and children regarding any kind of mental health concerns. In this video, Dr. Gelston answers a few question on ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as:

– What is ASD? 

It is a condition which includes limited and repetitive patterns of behaviour. Such as speech, interests, and motor motivations. It affects how a person perceives things such as social interactions and communication. This is considered a developmental disorder. Which means it presents in a child’s early life and stays with him or her as they grow up. 

– Signs and symptoms 

The word spectrum means that there is a wide range of symptoms that we can notice in children. Those symptoms can be social related such as: 

  • – Reduced tendency to start a conversation. 
  • – No interest in imaginative or creative play
  • – Difficulties with non verbal communication.
  • – No ability to maintain friendships.
  • – Difficulties sharing ideas or interests. 

Other symptoms can be more related to behaviors and interests such as: 

  • – Repetitive motor movements. 
  • – Stereotyped speech.
  • – Insisting on a routine.
  • – Rigid thinking. 
  • – Fixated interests.

– Assessment and diagnosis 

Many experts can diagnose ASD. Such as psychologists, pediatricians, speech therapists. It does not involve any blood tests. The assessment is based on multidisciplinary and multi-setting educational tests. 

– How to support children with ASD?

This is a challenging phase for both parents and the diagnosed child. Therefore, it is best to learn how to support our child to make things easier. Dr. Gelston suggests several actions such as: 

  • – Parent education and training
  • – Social skills training
  • – Early conversations – which are the key. 

– Finally, the role of schools and educators 

There are many steps for schools and educators to take to help diagnose and support children with ASD. For example: 

  • – Identifying symptoms 
  • – Encouraging diagnoses
  • – Use psycho-educational assessments
  • – Regular review meetings
  • – Accommodate the school and classrooms

Make sure to watch the video for more information and to learn more about ASD in the Middle East. 

Also read What is ADHD?