Autism Specialist

Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center

Child and Adult Psychiatric Care & Interventional Psychiatry located in Hamden, CT & Woodbridge, CT

One out of 59 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorder, which is a lifelong condition that affects communication and behavior. At Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center in Hamden and Woodbridge, Connecticut, triple board-certified psychiatrist David Aversa, MD, MPH, and the mental health professionals specialize in autism care and provide service for individuals of all ages. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.

Autism Q&A

What is autism?

Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder, is a developmental disorder usually diagnosed during early childhood that affects communication and behavior. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because the symptoms can vary significantly. 

Prior to 2013, autism was classified into types:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)

However, these three classifications now all fall under the autism spectrum disorder umbrella. 

What are autism symptoms?

Autism signs and symptoms affect socialization and communication. The developmental disorder may also cause repetitive behaviors. 

Common autism symptoms include:

  • Little or inconsistent eye contact
  • Nonresponsive when name is called
  • Showing little interest in activities
  • Not looking at or listening to people
  • Facial gestures or actions that don’t match what’s being expressed
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Intense interest in certain activities or topics
  • Getting upset with changes in routine
  • Strong visual, auditory learners
  • Being able to remember details for long periods of time
  • Excelled skills in math, science, art, or music

Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center uses the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders, 5th Edition to diagnose autism. Criteria for this diagnosis includes:

  • Difficulty with communication
  • Difficulty interacting with others
  • Limited interests
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Symptoms that affect the ability to learn, work, or engage in daily activities

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of autism, contact Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center to schedule an evaluation. 

What causes autism?

Researchers are still investigating the underlying cause of autism, but theorize the developmental disorder may be a genetic condition triggered by an environmental factor. You or your child may be at greater risk of developing autism if it runs in the family. Low birth weight is also a risk factor. 

How is autism treated?

Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center provides autism services for individuals across the lifespan, including treatment for those with Asperger’s syndrome. Treatment for autism may depend on age, the severity of symptoms, and the effect symptoms have on daily life.

Treatment may include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Special education
  • Medication

Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center also offers transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a treatment option for autism. The noninvasive therapy sends magnetic impulses of energy to specific areas of the brain to stimulate activity. 

For expert autism care for all ages, contact Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center by phone or online today.