Around one in 59 American children have autism spectrum disorder, sometimes called ASD or autism, a developmental disorder that affects communication skills and behavior. At Newport Children’s Medical Group, in Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach, California, the team of expert pediatricians diagnose autism and offer personalized care to help your child achieve their full potential and lead a fulfilling life. Call Newport Children’s Medical Group today if you’re concerned about your child’s behavior or development.
Autism Q & A
What is autism spectrum disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder, often called ASD or autism, is a developmental condition that usually emerges during childhood.
It can affect your child’s social skills, communication, and relationships. Autism can also interfere with your child’s ability to self-regulate, which can lead to other behavioral issues.
Medical researchers haven’t identified a specific cause of autism, although there are some known risk factors, including:
- Having a sibling with autism
- Genetic conditions like Down syndrome or fragile X syndrome
- Low birth weight
In many cases, specialized treatment and care can help regulate your child’s symptoms so they can learn to function and achieve their full potential.
What are the signs of autism?
Autism is a spectrum disorder because of the variety of both symptoms and their severity. Every child is unique, but some of the common signs of autism include:
- Delayed speech development or being nonverbal
- Repeating sounds, words, or phrases
- Avoiding eye contact
- Atypical or absent facial expression
- Preferring to play alone
- Struggling with back and forth conversation
Children with autism also display restrictive or repetitive behaviors. For example, your child might develop an intense interest in particular topics like numbers or facts.
Children with autism are also sometimes hypersensitive to changes in routine as well as sensory input like noises, texture, or light.
How is autism diagnosed?
The team of pediatricians at Newport Children’s Medical Group provides comprehensive developmental screening services to diagnose autism and other developmental disorders.
They observe your child for certain behaviors and ask you about their symptoms and actions at home and school. When necessary, your pediatrician can provide a referral for neuropsychological testing.
How is autism treated?
While there’s no cure for autism, the team at Newport Children’s Medical Group provides highly personalized care to help your child. Depending on your child’s specific needs, their treatment plan could include:
- Occupational therapy
Medication can help regulate issues such as increased aggression, hyperactivity, and anxiety.
At the same time, your child might benefit from therapy to help them learn and practice skills to help them function and succeed at school. They practice social, communication, and language skills. Therapy can help your child feel more confident and improve their self-esteem.
Your pediatrician can also collaborate with you and your child’s educators to create and implement an individualized education program (IEP). An IEP ensures that your child gets the support they need to achieve their potential at school.
Call Newport Children’s Medical Group today for expert diagnosis and treatment for autism.