Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that impacts an individual’s behaviour, interests, communication, and social interaction. It is a neuro-developmental condition that possibly has genetic and neurological causes. Autism varies greatly by level of severity and presenting characteristics and as a result, no two individuals on the spectrum are alike. It is for this reason that an autism assessment is important to get right.

Once a diagnosis has been made by a medical professional; typically your child’s pediatrician, our multidisciplinary team and psychiatrists will help to provide treatment and management. The implementation of early intervention strategies for autism is crucial for your child’s skill development. A wide range of therapies are used to help children cope with ASD throughout the duration of their lives, but no “cure” exists as of yet. Direct Focus Solutions utilises a multidisciplinary approach to help provide your child. Individuals with autism may require specific kinds of care and attention, as well as therapy to assist with a wide range of aspects within their daily lives.

ASD: The Symptoms And Signs

Individuals who have undertaken autism assessment and have been diagnosed with ASD tend to experience a certain degree of hardship when interacting and/or communicating with others. These difficulties can manifest early within their social development. For example, individuals with ASD may:

  • Have speech delays when learning to talk
  • Have difficulty expressing themselves through nonverbal cues (gestures, body language, facial expressions, eye contact)
  • On occasion make no eye contact entirely, regardless of whether you’re familiar to them or not
  • Express disinterest or a lack of awareness towards other children
  • Prefer the company of either younger or older children, adults, or prefer to play alone
  • Have difficulty interpreting and understanding the feelings and emotions of others
  • Experience hardships when taking part in or starting conversations
  • Prefer to stick to a particular “routine” and may have anxiety or temper tantrums when this order is disrupted

Diagnostically speaking, individuals with ASD symptoms may simultaneously experience other issues that may affect them on behavioural, emotional, or cognitive levels. These can include:

ASD: Managing Life

Although there is no known “cure” for ASD, numerous tools are available to help children experiencing it to better manage their condition. Special therapies and interventions may assist with social, communication, and education development, in addition to the skills needed for self expression and to better understand others. For example:

  • Teaching better ways to communicate through pictures and rehearsed scripts
  • Improving social interaction through strategies to improve their understanding of other people’s feelings and to help them respond to them
  • Learning imaginative play skills to build their confidence in expressing themselves
  • Educational therapy strategies to build reading, writing and maths skills appropriate to their pace of learning

At Direct Focus Solutions our team offers a variety of autism treatment strategies and options in order to provide the best support possible. Our multidisciplinary approach will tackle ASD therapy through a number of different disciplines and fronts, including psychotherapy, occupational therapy, neurofeedback, and biofeedback training.

Our Autism Practitioners

Serena Celestino

Serena focuses primarily on identifying and treating Autism, ADHD, OCD, anxiety disorders (including social and general anxiety), schizoaffective disorder, and depression. She has well-developed patience and communication skills, and is particularly interested in the increase in mental health issues among young adults.

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Aoife Ryan

Aoife is an occupational therapist who uses strength-based, neurodevelopmental strategies and approaches to empower our clients and their families. Her focus is on symptoms related to dysregulation and difficulties in daily functioning.

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Terissa Morgan

Terissa is a warm, engaging and professional who is passionate about working with children and families. She is a Hanen trained speech therapist who holds a current practicing membership with Speech Pathology Australia.

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Jennifer Humby

Jennifer is a friendly and approachable person with a passion for helping maintain people's psychological wellbeing. She is a newcomer in the psychology profession, having previously worked in business administration for a number of years. She also has casual experience as a hypnotherapist.

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Sabrina Staff Practitioner Therapy Counselling

Sabrina Leviste

Sabrina is a born and bred “Californian” who is fuelled by a love for body-brain connections. Sabrina has gained experience in complex behaviours linked with neurodevelopmental trauma, sensory processing disorder, and learning delays. She currently works with the neurofeedback team as a consultant.

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Felix Staff Support Worker

Felix Roitour

Felix entered the psychology practice in order to better understand people, their motivations and their behaviours. At Direct Focus Solutions, he applies his extensive past and present knowledge to neurofeedback training and assistance, along with occupational therapy and psychology group programs.

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Kathryn Staff Support Worker

Kathryn Humby

Kathryn is particularly interested in anxiety and its expression across the lifespan from childhood to late adulthood. She uses neurotherapy techniques to help understand mood and developmental disorders within our clients and is also part of our management team.

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Lynette Fane De Salis

Lynette has a broad range of experience in education, corporate, and clinical settings as both a counsellor and a psychologist. Her main focus is with anxiety and depression, but her skill set has expanded to include complex trauma and PTSD.

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