Clinical psychologist Dr Laura Powling

CASK Research Foundation’s medical advisor discusses Autism and CASK

Dr Powling runs the award-winning Evolve Psychology and her company is a corporate partner of CASK Research Foundation. Laura is able to assist families with advice regarding support, assessment and therapeutic services for children with CASK who suspect autism or other behavioural issues.

Read below for a short question and answer with Dr Laura Powling especially for Autism Awareness Week 2022:

Can you have traits without having a diagnosis of autism?

“Absolutely. Many children, young people and adults present with traits, but do not end up with a diagnosis. When we give a diagnosis we use diagnostic criteria. Not everybody with traits will meet the diagnostic criteria and there may be many reasons for this. We also have to consider whether even if someone does have apparent traits whether autism is the best explanation for those traits, or whether they can be better explained by another condition/ diagnosis, for example a learning disability. A full assessment would aim to try and tease out an explanation for those traits.”

Can sleep disorders be a symptom of Autism?

“Many individuals with Autism can often have trouble sleeping. There are a number of possible reasons for this which may include difficulties with relaxing or winding down and/ or irregular melatonin levels.”