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TMS for Autism
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), regards a broad range of psychiatric conditions that are characterized by difficulty with social skills and interaction, repetitive behaviors, and difficulty with speech and nonverbal communication. Autism affects an estimated 1 in 60 children in the U.S., currently.
Types of Autism
There exist multiple variations or types of autism (not just one), which are largely influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Inasmuch as Autism is a Spectrum Disorder, every individual who suffers from autism has a distinct and specific set of strengths and challenges.
Autism Disorder (AD)
Historically, this was the most common diagnosis. Those with AD might show significant challenges in social interactions, communication, and might engage in repetitive behaviors. Imagine being in a foreign country without a guide – that’s sometimes how the world feels to them.
Asperger’s Syndrome (AS)
A bit like AD’s cousin, those with Asperger’s often have milder symptoms. They might be highly skilled in a particular area, like math or music, but might find it tricky navigating social situations. Ever felt like you’re reading a book in a language you kind of understand, but not entirely? That’s Asperger’s for you.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
PDD-NOS is like a mixed bag. Those diagnosed might show some symptoms of AD or AS but not enough to fully classify under either. It’s like being given a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)
Imagine building a sandcastle and then watching the tide wash it away. Children with CDD develop typically but then, usually between ages 2 and 4, they start losing skills they once had in areas like speech, socialization, and motor skills.
Mostly affecting girls, this rare type starts to show between 6 months and 2 years of age. They begin to lose purposeful hand skills and can develop repetitive hand movements like wringing.
The degree of functionality that autistic individuals learn, think and problem-solve ranges from highly skilled to severely challenged. Predicated on the level of functionality, ASD sufferers may require significant support in their daily lives, while others need less support, including those at a high functioning level, who can live independently.
Several factors contribute to the development of autism, which is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities, as well as medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disorders, as well as mental illness, including anxiety, depression, and attention deficiencies.
Autism indicators typically manifest by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays may appear even earlier, such that ASD may be diagnosed as early as 18 months of age.
Ample research has indicated that the earlier in life intervention occurs, the more positive the outcomes are, later in life, for people with autism.
TMS treatment for Autism
Unfortunately, there are very few and largely ineffective, treatment interventions of any kind available, today, to treat Autism. There are no medications available that are specifically designed to treat Autism.
TMS has proven to be demonstrably effective in minimizing the symptoms of Autism, in ways that other interventions have not been able to do. Our San Diego Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Center offers TMS Therapy for Autism.
If you’d like to learn more about the treatment process at our TMS Center, please visit our TMS Procedure page.
TMS benefits include
- Compelling High Success Rate in reducing Autism symptoms
- Non-Invasive – the treatment is entirely external to the body
- Non-Sedative – it requires no sedation and is relatively painless
- Minimal to No Side Effects – it has no side effects in the vast majority of patients
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Can TMS therapy help Autism?
Current studies suggest that TMS therapy may be helpful for treating Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is unlikely that TMS will bring significant benefits to all symptoms of ASD. With current data, it is unclear whether TMS can offer long-term benefits for ASD. There are no reports of severe side effects in treating ASD with TMS.
How is TMS used for Autism?
Depending on where an individual lies on the spectrum of autism, certain parts of the brain may be targeted to address their given symptoms. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), for example, is thought to play a role in how one understands the mental state of others. One ASD patient receiving TMS therapy on this part of the brain reported that eye contact was less uncomfortable and that social situations were more natural.
Scholarly Research and Publications
Parents and family members can explain autism to kids can help with growing understanding and avoiding harm to autistic individuals.
Asperger’s and autism are neurodevelopmental disorders that can affect social and emotional interactions. The level of functionality and treatments can vary.
Theta burst stimulation (TBS) is a special type of TMS therapy that can be used to help reduce symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).