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A-Z Teen Health Glossary


Autism is a brain disorder which can cause a range of impairments to teens, including physical, mental, and behavioral effects.  Within the autism disorder category, there are five different subtypes of the disorder, including:

  • Asperger’s
  • Rett’s Disorder
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (not otherwise specified)


Autism disorder effects the proper development of the brain. Some of the most common effects of the disorder include difficulty with communication, social interactions, and/or repetitive/compulsive behaviors. The specific impairments present in teens differ according to the individual, but it’s common for teens to struggle to communicate easily with others, including listening, focusing, and clearly expressing themselves.

It can often be especially tough for teens with autism to express themselves when feeling elevated emotions, such as anger or fear. Teens with autism sometimes also struggle to make and/or maintain social relationships. In certain cases, teens with autism may not pick up on social cues and norms, which may cause them to behave inappropriately or unusually. This can make it difficult for the teens to successfully engage with others.

Lastly, another common effect of autism disorder is teens having compulsive repetitive behaviors, such as certain movements, habits, or fixations, which are often very ingrained in the teens. In the same way that behaviors can be compulsive for the teens, fixations can also be very strong, to the point of distracting and/or preventing teens’ normal interactions.


What we find in teen autism treatment is that the earlier teens are diagnosed and begin treatment, the more intentional treatment can be, to assist in teens continuing to develop, grow, and function, in their day-to-day lives.  Very often, the best treatment involves aspects of behavioral treatment, mental treatment, and medication.

Talk therapy sessions can be extremely valuable, in helping teens to learn how to manage triggers that arise and cause problematic behaviors.  Furthermore, therapists can help teens to more healthily manage their impulses, patterns, and stressors, so that over time, they can learn to successfully interact in relationships, handle responsibilities, and feel engaged in a community. Therapists can also assist teens in implementing tools and techniques that support teens to succeed academically, which can be crucial in helping teens to find a sense of belonging and confidence, in their lives.

Beyond this, for some teens with autism disorder, medication can be a helpful tool in assisting with the overall teen autism treatment plan.

At Paradigm Austin, we provide comprehensive teen autism treatment, including treatment for teens with co-occurring disorders.  Paradigm Austin is a teen treatment facility with a comfortable, house-like setting.  Paradigm Austin designs treatment for teen autism disorder, combining both traditional and progressive therapeutic techniques.  Paradigm Austin takes a holistic approach to all teen treatment, using a range of different treatment approaches, in order to successfully assist teens in evaluating and addressing all areas of their lives.  Paradigm Austin treats teens from Austin as well as the rest of the U.S., and is considered one of the leading teen treatment facilities in the country.

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