Autism

autism

Mind Institute is the leading provider of programs and services for individuals with Autism. We pride ourselves to be part of the Ministry of Public Health Funded Autism Program. Our facilities are designed in consultation with Autism specialists from the U.K. Our group therapy rooms are based on the TEACCH methodology. Our Holistic Approach to planning goals and monitoring outcomes utilizes a variety of evidence based standardized assessment tools, including the ADOS 2. Our approach is multidisciplinary and extends beyond therapy walls as we reach out to the child’s teacher, family members and caregivers. Our multidisciplinary clinical team is dedicated to supporting toddlers, children, adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related challenges.

What is autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects the child’s development in two main areas; social communication/interaction and restricted repetitive behavior. ASD is associated with many other disorders; Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and Pervasive Development Disorder. Children with Autism usually experience difficulty in areas of social interaction, social communication, cognitive flexibility (switch between thinking about two different concepts or to think about multiple concepts simultaneously), restrictive or repetitive behaviour and sensory processing difficulties. Each of these features can be present in various forms and varying degrees.

According to Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), 1 in 56 boys and one in 230 girls have ASD in Qatar.


The CDC has identified “red flags” that we should always look out for. Those are:

  • No response to name calling by the age of 12 months
  • Unable to point to objects to show interest by the age of 14 months
  • Does not play “pretend” by 18 months of age
  • No eye contact and prefers to be alone
  • Unable to understand how other people feel and unable to express their own feelings
  • Have delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeats words and phrases over and over
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Small changes in routine causes him/her to get upset
  • Have “obsessive” interests
  • Flap their hands, spin in circles or rock their body
  • React differently to sounds, smell, taste, look or feel

There are a number of medical and mental health conditions that are frequently associated with ASD such as:

 

Treatment

There is no “cure” for ASD. However, there are several interventions that have proved successful and are extremely useful. Treatment has to be carried out by a multidisciplinary team to reduce symptoms, improve cognitive ability and daily skills, and improve ability to participate in the community. There is no one size fits all. Each individual with Autism, child or adult, has unique strengths and weaknesses. The specialists at Mind institute will target each individual’s needs and come up with a unique and a customized therapy plan.

As with any condition, Early Intervention is a key. Our team of clinicians will focus on behavioral intervention strategies and social communication skill development. These interventions are imperative at a young age, as that is the time when the child is naturally gaining these skills. Our team can offer the following:

ASD Assessments

Confirming the existence of ASD for a child can be helpful, as it enables parents, as well as others (educators and caregivers) to understand and support the child better by helping to clarify if a child requires any extra support or resources by providing the child with a customized plan that ensures his/ her progress.

ADOS 2 AssessmenT

Mind Institute uses the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) to identify the existence of ASD features and its severity.Parents would be first asked to attend an initial intake interview in which our specialist gathers information on your child’s developmental milestones, current behaviours, education and home life. The interview is very detailed and takes around 1-1.5 hours.The ADOS assessment would then be carried out over a sitting of 1-2 hours. A full report will be produced following the assessment with recommendations for home, school and therapy. A telephone follow up call is also provided for further discussions.

CARS-2 Assessment

The CARS-2 identifies individuals with Autism, based on a questionnaire with the parents and direct observation. It has proven especially useful in discriminating between children with Autism and those with severe cognitive deficits, and in distinguishing mild-to-moderate from severe Autism.

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