You At Your Best

June 2017 • Mental Health

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 23

4 | YOU AT YOUR BEST | NWADG.COM/YOUATYOURBEST JUNE - MENTAL HEALTH | SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2017 SPECIAL TO NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE PROFILE: Dr. Keith Berner Brings Experience to Springwoods Behavioral Health Dr. Berner is a native of Russell- ville, Ark. Dr. Berner came to Spring- woods in 2015 after working as a Psychiatrist at the Northwest Medical Center Behavior unit in Springdale, Ark. He received a B.A. in biology from Hendrix College where he graduated magna cum laude, and then graduated from medical school at UAMS. Dr. Berner completed residency in Psychiatry at the University of Vermont and did a fellow in addiction psychiatry at New York University and Bellevue Hospital in New York City. About Springwoods Behavioral Health Springwoods Behavioral Health, located at 1955 W. Truckers Drive, in Fayetteville, is an 80 bed behavioral health facility providing comprehen- sive care for adolescents, adults, geri- atrics and a unit designed exclusively for women. The six acre campus is ad- jacent to a 123 acre Audubon Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, providing a seclud- ed and serene setting for comfort and healing. Located off Highway 112, the facility is easily accessible to residents of Northwest Arkansas and the sur- rounding communities. Springwoods Behavioral Health is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JTC) and li- censed by the Arkansas Department of Health. For more information, call 479- 973-6000 or visit www.springwoodsbe- Keith Berner, MD Psychiatry, Springwoods Behavioral Health Myths and Misconceptions about Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a class of neurological conditions pres- ent from early childhood and is often iden- tifi ed through diffi culty communicating, using language and understanding abstract concepts. The organization Autism Speaks says that an estimated one out of 42 boys and one in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States. Autism is now diagnosed in roughly one out of every 68 children in Canada, and has become the fastest growing and most commonly diag- nosed neurological disorder in that coun- try. ASD is estimated to affect tens of millions of people worldwide. But even though ASD is widely recognized, studied and discussed, myths and misconceptions about the disorder continue to circulate. Shedding light on how ASD can help care- givers, peers and anyone who routinely interacts with individuals who fall on the spectrum. ASD is not a single disorder Although autism and ASD are often used interchangeably, these names do not defi ne one specifi c disorder. ASD is now an umbrella term that includes autism, As- perger syndrome, pervasive developmen- tal disorder, childhood disintegrative dis- order, and Rett syndrome, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Men- tal Disorder, 5th edition (DSM-5) revised in 2013. ASD is often perceived through communication defi cits that can include misinterpreted or nonverbal interactions. Individuals also may have challenges in bonding/friendship development. People with ASD can understand and express emotion Although communication troubles may be present, those with ASD can and do feel emotions. But they may not be able to express these emotions the same way as others do. Also, just because someone has ASD doesn't mean he or she is unable to understand the emotions of others. Rather, the person may need fi rm and direct indi- cations of how another person is feeling to understand. Reading body language or tone of voice alone may be inadequate to someone with ASD. School-aged children can learn from this, recognizing that some- one with ASD may want to have friends and socialize, but he or she may not know how to facilitate these engagements. ASD does not produce carbon-copy symptoms Characteristics of ASD can vary widely from person to person. One per- son's limitations may not be present in an- other. ASD is not just a children's disease There is no cure for ASD, and symptoms may not be reversible, which means that autism is a lifelong condition. Children who are diagnosed will grow into young people and adults with autism. Many treatments and therapies are geared toward early intervention, but adults can benefi t from continued work as well. Adults with ASD can be successful and live independent lives. Autism spectrum disorder is more prevalent than ever. However, despite the recognition of ASD, many people do not understand the nuances involved with a diagnosis. – Metro Creative Services SPRINGWOODS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of You At Your Best - June 2017 • Mental Health