About Autism

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting communication and behavior. Though autism symptoms are usually present at a very early age, symptoms vary in type and severity. The team of board-certified psychiatrists at Serenity Mental Health Centers includes psychiatrists who specialize in diagnosing and treating autism. They have locations in the Biltmore, Desert Ridge, and Chandler area of Phoenix and Gilbert, Arizona; Lehi and Holladay, Utah; and Lakewood and Cherry Creek area of Denver, Colorado. Call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today. 

Autism Q&A

What is autism?

Autism, also known as an autism spectrum disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting communication and behavior. People with autism look like everyone else, but may talk, learn, or interact with people in ways that differ from others. 

Autism is a developmental disorder, which means symptoms are present during early childhood, usually by age two. However, autism is also a spectrum disorder, which means symptoms vary in type and severity.

What are the symptoms of autism?

Autism symptoms usually include problems with communication and interaction with others, as well as limited interests and repetitive behaviors. 

Signs and symptoms of autism include:

  • Little or inconsistent eye contact

  • Not looking or listening to others

  • Difficulty carrying on a conversation

  • Unusual tone of voice (flat, robotic, or sing-song)

  • Difficulty understanding someone else’s point of view

  • Repetitive behaviors

  • Intense interest in specific topics

  • Having a hard time with a change in routine

  • More or less sensitive to noise, light, or temperature

  • Problems with sleep

Though people with autism have many challenging symptoms, they may also have gifts like remembering things in detail for an extended time or excel in a particular area like math or music.

How is autism diagnosed?

The Serenity Mental Health Centers team may perform a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose autism. To diagnose autism, the team evaluates behaviors, symptoms, and development. 

Though signs and symptoms of autism are present during early childhood, it’s possible to go undiagnosed until your teen or adult years. Adults with undiagnosed autism may suffer from other mental health conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression. 

The team conducts thorough neuropsychological exams when you come in with concerns about autism, so you get the correct diagnosis and the most effective care. 

How is autism treated?

The board-certified psychiatrists at Serenity Mental Health Centers take an individualized approach to mental health. Treatment for autism may depend on the severity of symptoms and other related mental health conditions.

Your treatment plan may include a combination of talk therapy, behavioral therapy, and medication. For depression and anxiety, the team may suggest alternative treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy — a noninvasive treatment that alleviates depression symptoms. 

Autism causes a wide range of challenges and benefits from broad treatment options. For comprehensive autism care from a team of professionals, call Serenity Mental Health Centers or request a consultation online today. 

Let’s take the next step together. Schedule an appointment today and let’s work together to help you take back your life.

Serenity Mental Health Centers
Located in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado