Part of the How We Treat Series; this article talks about the unique challenges related to Adult Autism and the services Community Psychiatric Centers offers to help treat and support it.
Adults With Autism –The Challenge
There has been a growing challenge in meeting the needs of adults with autism. In that respect, in-home services are available for those with autism, through a service provided by Community Psychiatric Centers called Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS – formerly known as ‘wraparound services’) from early childhood through 21 years of age. However, at 21 years of age and beyond, the service options have been minimal. To that end, Community Psychiatric Centers is positioned to treat adults with autism, through the Adult Autism Waiver. We can provide a host of services to help adults with autism reach their fullest potential.
Severity Level, Adaptive Skills, And Targeted Areas
Autism Spectrum Disorder is categorized based on severity level, with Levels 1, 2, and 3, from mild to more severe, respectively. At Community Psychiatric Centers, our primary focus is the person’s adaptive levels of functioning, specifically in the areas of home living, learning, community use, employment, health and safety, and social activities. As part of our evaluation process, we assess each of these adaptive skills and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.
What Causes Autism?
There is no known cause for autism but many suspicions including genetics and toxins; however, again, such is speculation. You can learn more about Autism and its severity levels here.
Individuals with autism are at risk for other complications and co-occurring conditions. In that respect, individuals with autism may also meet the criteria for Intellectual Disabilities Disorder, or IDD. Moreover, one study found between 73-81% of individuals with autism also met the criteria for a psychiatric disorder.
How CPC Treats Adults with Autism
Our goal is to help individuals with autism reach their fullest potential. We treat those of any age; children and adults. However, specifically for adults with autism, we focus on the aforementioned adaptive skills so that, no matter the level of functioning, each is capable as possible to care for their home and living space, learn from experience, take full advantage of community resources, get and keep a job, maintain health and keep safe, and develop and maintain social pursuits. We work directly with individuals in the home and community to directly meet their individualized needs.
Co-occurring Mental Health Issues And Promoting Family Harmony
Community Psychiatric Centers is uniquely prepared to address any co-morbid mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, attention problems, or trouble with anger management. A primary aspect of our treatment program is counseling and behavioral support to promote healthy living. This support is provided directly in the home and can transfer to our outpatient clinic program where we can also provide medication management. It’s not uncommon that individuals with autism struggle with loved ones – they don’t always see eye-to-eye in terms of carrying out household duties, maintaining grooming and hygiene, and consequently there may be some trouble getting along - we also address such issues and promote family communication and harmony.
Establishing Services for Adults with Autism
Check out more details of our Adult Autism program at Community Psychiatric Centers. You can also call to make an appointment for an evaluation at (724) 850-7200 or email me at DrCarosso@aol.com and we can work toward establishing a diagnosis and starting services. The same holds true if a diagnosis is already established – call us and we’ll discuss service options including connecting with a Service Coordinator and getting services started.
That’s a Wrap
May God bless you and your family as you pursue services for your loved ones. I hope this post helps in that effort to clarify the resources available for those with autism. We look forward to answering any questions along the way and meeting your family’s needs. Don’t hesitate to call or email.