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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Priti M Manohar, MD -  - Adult Neurology

Neuro Rehab & Pain Institute

Priti M Manohar, MD

Adult Neurology & Pediatric Neurology located in Edinburg, TX

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impairs a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. Though it's a lifelong condition that has no cure, intensive and early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children. Priti Manohar, MD, at Neuro Rehab & Pain Institute has worked with many children, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum. Dr. Manohar performs autism assessments and neuropsychological evaluations, and creates individualized treatment plans that build on strengths while overcoming weaknesses. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Edinburg, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Q&A

What is autism spectrum disorder?

ASD is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder that includes people with a wide spectrum of symptoms and abilities. Some people with autism are nonverbal; others talk nonstop. Some struggle with daily activities and need extensive support. Others navigate their way through school and adulthood with occasional support.

No matter where they are on the spectrum, their symptoms significantly affect their ability to function at school, work, and home.

What core challenges define autism spectrum disorder?

Everyone on the autism spectrum has two core challenges:

Difficulty with social skills and communicating

Your child may struggle to make friends or have back-and-forth communications. People with ASD are often uncomfortable making eye contact, may have a flat tone of voice, and struggle to share another person's interest. They also don't understand nonverbal communication. 

Repetitive and restrictive behaviors

People on the autism spectrum have a deep need to follow a predictable routine. As a result, they can get very upset over small or unexpected changes in their usual schedule. 

Most children have one interest that occupies all of their attention, and they often like to repeat the same movements and engage in one activity. 

What are the signs of autism?

Though the signs appear in early childhood, they might not become obvious until school and age-appropriate socialization expectations stress them beyond their abilities.

A few common signs include:

  • Not smiling by the age of 6 months
  • Not babbling or pointing by 12 months
  • Not saying single-word phrases by 16 months
  • Preferring to play alone
  • Repeating words and phrases
  • Not responding to their name
  • Playing by lining up toys
  • Watching the same video
  • Being interested in one toy, topic, or object
  • Interpreting everything literally

Many people with ASD are overly sensitive or under-sensitive to pain, sounds, temperature, textures, smells, lights, and movement. For example, they might not eat certain foods due to the texture or smell.

How is autism spectrum disorder treated?

Children with ASD need services that are consistently provided whether they're in school, at home, or socializing in the community.

Many types of therapy, including behavioral, interpersonal, speech, and occupational therapies, teach the skills needed to overcome ASD-related challenges. Therapy helps children with ASD learn social skills and daily living skills, as well as ways to manage anxiety and anger.

There currently aren't medications to treat autism. However, Dr. Manohar may prescribe medications that reduce problems like aggression and anger and treat the symptoms of co-existing disorders such as depression and anxiety.

If your child shows signs of autism, call Neuro Rehab & Pain Institute, or book an appointment online today.