Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have become an issue of serious concern in the present times. Health professionals, scientists and researchers are continuously trying to find the exact cause behind autism, and come up with effective methods to treat it. The Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) is one of the leading organizations committed to delivering superior care to kids with ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.
To educate medical professionals on ASD and other conditions, MAPS is going to organize the MAPS SPRING 2015 Conference from March 12-15, 2015, at Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa. The conference will see many doctors, pediatricians and other medical professionals as speakers, sharing their knowledge on the disorder and its treatment.
If you are a medical professional, this conference would provide you an insight into autism, its diagnosis and treatment. Here are the reasons why you should consider attending the MAPS SPRING 2015 Conference:
1. To Gain an Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders:
Autism is not one disorder, it’s a spectrum of several disorders closely related to each other, and with shared symptoms. Every person affected with ASD faces difficulties to some extent with flexible behavior, communication, empathy and social skills. However, the symptom combination and the disability level varies considerably from one individual to another. For example, two children with the same autism diagnosis may appear very different, in terms of their abilities and behaviors. Each child with autism has unique needs, and should be treated according to them.
2. To Know About the Types of ASD:
Autism Spectrum Disorders are a part of “umbrella” category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), which are five childhood-onset neurodevelopmental conditions. The terms “autism spectrum disorder” and “pervasive developmental disorder” are used interchangeably by several autism specialists. The 3 most common Pervasive Developmental Disorders are:
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Specified Otherwise (PDD-NOS)
- Asperger’s Syndrome
The remaining 2 Pervasive Developmental Disorders are Rett Syndrome and Childhood disintegrative disorder. As both of these are very rare genetic disorders, they are considered as separate medical conditions, and are not considered as truly belonging to autism spectrum.
The 3 autism spectrum disorders have several same symptoms, but are different in their impact and severity. The most severe type of autism spectrum disorders is autistic disorder or classic autism. The milder forms are atypical autism or PDD-NOS and Asperger’s Syndrome, also known as high-functioning autism. As per the ‘Autism Spectrum Resource Center’, only 20% of individuals on the spectrum are affected by classic autism. The majority are somewhere on the spectrum’s milder range.
3. To Know the Signs and Symptoms of ASD:
In kids as well as adults, the symptoms and signs of ASD include restricted interests and activities, difficulty with speech, language and social skills. However, huge differences are there in the behavior patterns, severity of symptoms and the combinations of symptoms. Pediatric CME conferences such as this, can provide you a detailed insight into the different symptoms of ASD, and how to diagnose the disorder on the basis of these symptoms.
4. To Learn About Diagnosis of ASD:
The process of autism diagnosis may be time-consuming and difficult. Many behaviors linked to ASD, are a part of some other neurodevelopmental disorders too. So, a medical assessment needs to be conducted, for ruling out other factors, which may be the cause behind the difficulties (such as hearing problem).
Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in children is usually performed by carrying out a thorough assessment, which is done by many medical professionals together. Health professionals forming the assessment team are a psychologist, a pediatrician or child psychiatrist and a speech pathologist. The information needed for deciding the treatment approaches, is given by these medical professionals. ASD diagnosis in adults, is conducted by a psychologist or psychiatrist with experience in ASD.
5. To Learn About ASD Treatment Methods:
No single treatment method can treat all autistic individuals. Based on an individual’s unique needs, strengths and difficulties, ways of treatment are determined by medical professionals. It is important to start treatment early, and the treatment option should meet the child’s needs. Behavior as well as communication difficulties should be treated. Parents and caregivers should be allowed to get involved in the treatment process.
Early intervention is very important when it comes to treatment of ASD. Early intervention is aimed at teaching social skills to autistic kids, developing their motor and communication skills and lowering their problem behaviors (like emotional outbursts, interrupting and head-banging). It also aims to promote positive behaviors (such as turn-making at social situations).
Although medications are sometimes employed for increasing attention span and reducing unwanted behaviors, however, alternative options should be explored for lowering the unwanted behaviors. This is because some medications can cause adverse side-effects, especially if children have those medications for a long period. Psychological treatments, such as behavioral intervention has resulted in improvements in the functioning of ASD affected people.
The MAPS SPRING 2015 Conference would educate you on these areas, and many other areas beyond these, related to neurodevelopmental disorders. Leading medical experts in their respective fields would share their knowledge on innovative treatment methods and technologies helpful in ASD treatment. As a medical professional, attending such pediatric CME conferences would be highly beneficial for you. So, register now for the MAPS SPRING 2015 Conference.