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- [Voiceover] So in this video we're gonna talk about how we manage autism spectrum disorder. And in order for us to figure out how we might go about doing that, let's actually pull up the criteria here that we use to diagnose autism spectrum disorder. So if we look at this, the two main sort of signs that we need to see in someone in order to diagnose autism spectrum disorder are trouble with communication and interaction and restrictive, repetitive behaviors. And we can see here that there are a few different ways that these problems could manifest, so this is what we would look for if we were trying to figure out if someone has autism spectrum disorder. And, since these are the main sort of problems that someone with autism spectrum disorder can experience, well, it's these that we also want to focus on when we're thinking about managing autism spectrum disorder. Now something that we need to keep in mind when we're thinking about managing autism spectrum disorder is that someone with autism spectrum disorder, they follow along a spectrum, right? So how much trouble they have with communication and interaction and restricted and repetitive behaviors, how much trouble they have in these domains really varies a lot between different people with autism spectrum disorder. So that means that we really want individualized management plans for different people with autism spectrum disorder to make sure that the plans really address each person's strengths and their symptoms, because this can really vary depending on where along the autism spectrum the person falls. So you might have picked up on the fact that I'm using the word manage here, rather than the word treat, and that's because there isn't really a cure for these troubles that someone with autism spectrum disorder can experience. So instead what we want to focus on is managing these troubles by trying to minimize how much they interfere with the person's day to day life. And a big part of how we do that, especially when a child is younger, is we get the parents, and other family members, and teachers involved in creating an ideal environment for the kid with autism spectrum disorder. And this ideal environment, what it is, is it's an environment that addresses these different troubles that someone with autism spectrum disorder can have. So let's take a look at what this might look like. So in order to help a child with autism spectrum disorder work on their communication and interaction skills parents or teachers might make sure that the child has lots of interactive playtime every day. So the teacher might make sure that the child has time to interact with his or her peers, maybe by working on classroom activities together. These sorts of social activities are made a priority every day so that the child has lots of opportunities to work on his or her communication and interaction skills in different ways. And at home, maybe the parents would really focus on making communication and interaction an important priority. Maybe they would practice using nonverbal gestures and making sure that the child is able to use and understand these skills when they interact with the parents or other family members. Now part of making sure that a kid with autism spectrum disorder is able to thrive and work on their communication is making sure that they're comfortable in their environment. And since we know that kids with autism spectrum disorder can be really set on routines and have trouble with change what we often focus on in managing autism spectrum disorder is making sure that the child has a really structured environment. So this might mean that parents and teachers make sure that their routines, like getting ready for school and after school activities and bedtimes and meals are always the same. Maybe this means that the child is in a smaller classroom so that they're able to get some more one on one time with the teacher who can make sure that the day really follows a nice routine. And if the child has an activity that they're really into, maybe something like playing with cars, well this might be implemented into the daily schedule to make sure that the child has a routine that includes the activity that they really enjoy. And parents and teachers would also likely identify any environmental stimuli, like lights, or sounds, or smells, that really overstimulate and bother the child with autism spectrum disorder, and to make sure that these are avoided. So all of these measures to create a structured environment, this is done so that the child is able to function their best and be able to work on their communication and interaction skills in an environment that they're comfortable in. Now sometimes managing autism spectrum disorder involves a few other measures to help deal with other disorders and problems that can occur in kids with autism spectrum disorder. So, for example, sometimes kids with autism spectrum disorder have trouble with attention and hyperactivity. This might happen because they also have another disorder called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or maybe this inattention and hyperactivity occurs because they are struggling with anxiety, which is actually another common problem for kids with autism spectrum disorder. Kids with autism spectrum disorder are also at a higher risk of having a few other conditions, like seizures, and sleep trouble, and depression. So sometimes medications that help target and manage these other symptoms and conditions can become a part of a management plan for autism spectrum disorder.