In office and Telehealth appointments are available

Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Be Balanced Naturopathic Care Center

Naturopathic Medicine & Nutritionist located in Norwalk, CT & Southbury, CT

If your child acts differently than their peers, especially in social situations, autism spectrum disorder may explain their behavior. At Be Balanced Naturopathic Care Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, naturopathic physician Shyron Alston has extensive training in the principles of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy and is certified in positive behavior support. Call the office to have your child evaluated or book an appointment online today.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Q & A

What is autism spectrum disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition that affects brain development and social skills. It can cause kids to act inappropriately among their peers, have behavioral issues, or struggle to communicate effectively.

Autism ranges in severity from mild to severe and debilitating. While there’s no cure for autism spectrum disorder, treatment can improve a child’s quality of life. Symptoms of autism may appear around 18-24 months of age. Dr. Alston is experienced and comfortable working with the special needs population. 

What are the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder?

Common signs and symptoms linked with autism spectrum disorder include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Speech delays
  • Social awkwardness
  • Social isolation
  • Having few or no friends
  • Behavioral problems
  • Difficulty learning in school
  • Employment problems
  • Poor eye contact or facial expressions
  • Desire to be alone
  • Awkward behavior patterns
  • Robot-like speech
  • Repeating words or phrases
  • Repetitive body movements

Some kids with autism develop depression or anxiety or get bullied in school. They may become upset in situations that veer from their usual routine. 

What are the risk factors for autism spectrum disorder?

While anyone can develop autism spectrum disorder, certain factors increase your child’s risk of having it. Examples include a family history of autism, having certain medical conditions, preterm birth, and being a boy. Boys are about four times more likely than girls to develop autism.

How does my doctor diagnose autism spectrum disorder?

To determine if your child has autism spectrum disorder, Dr. Alston discusses their lifestyle, behavior patterns, symptoms, and medical history. She looks for signs of developmental delays, mental health disorders, and abnormal behavior patterns and may assess your child’s hearing, language, speech, and other developmental milestones. 

Dr. Alston might suggest your child undergo a blood test or other diagnostic tests to detect or rule out certain medical conditions. Be Balanced Naturopathic Care Center offers specialty lab testing that provides information about specific biochemical processes and body functions. Dr. Alston can assess levels of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, cholesterol levels, and more.

What are the treatments for autism spectrum disorder?

Treatments that can help your child improve behavior, learning, and social interaction include:

Lifestyle changes

Set a regular routine for children with autism spectrum disorder. Allow them to get plenty of sleep, encourage them to get regular exercise, and offer your child nutritious foods. Dr. Alston may recommend they take dietary supplements and follow a personalized clinical nutrition plan. 

Therapies

Dr. Alston specializes in ABA therapy and is certified in positive behavioral support to help children with autism learn the skills needed to excel as best they can in their environment. It teaches kids to communicate better, improve behavior patterns, and enhance social skills. 

She helps parents learn ways to cope with autism and foster their child’s needs. Dr. Alston may refer families for specialized therapies if they are needed and not already in place.

Counseling

Counseling can help children and adults with autism spectrum disorder cope with feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders linked with autism. 

Botanical medications

Medications aren’t a cure for autism but can help some kids better control undesirable symptoms, improve behavior, and manage medical conditions they may have. Botanical medicines, or herbal medicines, at Be Balanced Naturopathic Care Center use natural plant materials for medicinal purposes.  

If you suspect your child has autism spectrum disorder or they have an autism diagnosis, see Dr. Alston at Be Balanced Naturopathic Care Center for an evaluation. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.