Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is complicated. Because it is a spectrum, you have both low functioning, perhaps non-verbal people and then you have those who may just seem ‘quirky’. They don’t always fit in and are usually (but not always) socially awkward. However, it gets even more challenging when you add a mental health issue, such as ADHD.
There is new research that this combination of a neurological issue (ASD) and a mental health issues (ADHD) can lead to other serious issues. Obviously, this complicates the lives of both those who struggle with these issues and the family who works so hard to support them. According to Paul H. Lipkin, director of Medical Informatics and the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute, “The takeaway from the study’s findings, and one that both parents of children with ASD and doctors need to keep in mind, is that managing these psychiatric disorders is a dual effort. That by working closely together in monitoring a child for anxiety and mood symptoms, we can ensure early diagnosis and treatment, which is key to preserving a child’s quality of life.”
At Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy we look at the whole picture. With ASD we may work on building confidence, reading social cues and engaging appropriately with peers and adults. With ADHD we probably will be working on increasing focus and decreasing impulsive behaviors. With a mood disorder we again are looking at building confidence, but also on being able to express feelings in an open and appropriate way and on learning and utilizing self-soothing and calming skills.
The bottom line is, if you know a child who is struggling, seek help. We are here to help. Call or email us and we can schedule a visit to the ranch. We will introduce our wonderful herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.