Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s social interaction, social communication, behavior and interests. The symptoms of ASD are present in the early development period, causing significant impairment in social, occupational and important areas of current functioning. ASD’s characteristic features are: marked impairment in reciprocal social and interpersonal skills, marked impairment in language & non-verbal communication and differential behavioral characteristics.
The epidemiology of ASD is unknown; however there may be a genetic or neurological component to it, led by intellectual disability or global developmental delay. Autism is a spectrum of disorders that manifest differently from person to person. It impacts severity, independence (level of support needed) and performance requiring substantial support for daily life functioning.
An individual with ASD must be assessed at the earliest, as it is extremely important to provide necessary approaches and therapies to meet the needs of the individual having symptoms of ASD.
Who can Diagnose Autism?
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be difficult as there is no medical test (like a blood test), to diagnose the disorder. Both psychologists and psychiatrists can diagnose ASD; they tend to assess the severity levels of ASD by observing the child’s developmental history, social-emotional reciprocity and behavior to make a diagnosis.
Typically, the onset occurs before the age of 2 and half years, though in some cases, the onset may occur later in childhood. Autism occurring before or after 2 and half years of age is not clinically very different. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adolescents or adults. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.
Intervention Approaches to Autism
Children on the Autism Spectrum typically exhibit delayed speech and structural language impairment. A structured approach is required to facilitate effective speech for the child, to enhance his/her communication and social skills. At Dynamics Therapy Centre for Kids we provide Speech and Language Therapy that caters to the child’s needs. We work on communicative sounds, speech patterns and content, echolalia, preservation and articulation. All the therapies are structured and aimed at learning and maintaining acquired skills.
Amongst the methods that we use: Oral Motor – Talk Tools® Approach, PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System, PROMPT.
Therapists at Dynamics Success Centre conduct training in the physical, psychological, and social aspects of human functioning. Occupational Therapy aims to enhance and improve functional abilities and eliminate limitations, or disabilities through adaptive ways. We evaluate and address both the individual's capacities and their physical and psycho-social environment, in order to help the child effectively enhance their bodily function and fulfill their daily life roles.
The purpose of Occupational Therapy is to enhance holistic perspective in promoting a child's ability to fulfill their daily routines and roles. Our Sensory Integration gym promotes the Sensory Integration approach to reduce sensory seeking behaviors, improve modulation, increase attention span, encourage interpersonal interactions and positive reinforcement, to enhance self-care skills like fine and gross motor skills, handwriting skills, feeding issues, oral motor therapy.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
At Dynamics, we have Educational Therapists who provide help to children that address their individual differences and needs. We individualize plans and systematically monitor the arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, and accessible settings. Our Educational Therapists develop an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for each child that includes all the detailed interventions and strategies being enforced on the child’s acquired learning.
We use the TEACCH approach, in which the child is being taught in a one-on-one environment to be independent in different tasks: Functional academics, ADL, Writing, Reading and more.
It is important to know if your child is indeed on the Autism Spectrum or is suffering from a differential diagnosis (e.g. Asperger Syndrome, PDD-NOS, Dyspraxia, etc.).
We provide a complete diagnostic assessment. ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Intelligence testing (when the child is able to follow instructions), Adaptive Behavior Scale and Interview with the parents.
We produce a comprehensive report and further recommendations for a suitable learning environment and possible services needed.
Early Intervention Program (EIP)
The early identification of developmental delays and the appropriate management is key to changing the child’s developmental growth positively (Choo et.al., 2019). A study in Singapore by Lian et. al. (2012) found that slightly more than half of the cases (58.5%) showed improvement after a year of doing the needed intervention. Therefore, early intervention is crucial for children with autism (or ASD) to have the right foundation in their development.
In Dynamics Early Intervention Program (EIP), our teachers will work closely with parents and other professionals working with the child, to achieve the best outcomes and set the best environment for the child’s learning and development. Using the Dynamics Approach, we will ensure that the child is able to learn according to the way the child learns best, and the skills learnt will be generalized across different settings.
Choo, Y. Y., Agarwal, P., How, C. H., & Yeleswarapu, S. P. (2019). Developmental delay: identification and management at primary care level. Singapore Med J, 60(3), 119-123.
Lian, W. B., Ho, S. K., Choo, S. H., Shah, V. A., Chan, D. K., Yeo, C. L., & Ho, L. Y. (2012). Children with developmental and behavioural concerns in Singapore. Singapore Med J, 53(7), 439-445.
Dynamics International School (DIS)
At Dynamics International School, it is important that learning is a positive experience and students achieve significant academic gains and increased self-confidence in our school. Our firm belief that every child is a unique individual drives our individualised approach towards teaching students at our school.
Autism is not a one-size-fits-all diagnosis, and would appear differently in various students. In our school, we place a strong emphasis on establishing rapport with our students, taking time to understand and get to know them individually. To cater to our neurodiverse students, we ensure that the environment they are learning in provides them with the best experience to learn at their own pace in their own unique ways.
At Dynamics International School, we strive to push them to the best of their abilities and be the finest version of themselves.