Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a group of cognitive and developmental conditions that affect children and adults. A person with autism struggles with interpreting and acting on social cues, often with language delays, which makes meaningful connections and social interactions difficult, even with caregivers.
A child with ASD may have extreme difficulty mastering life skills and learning new concepts. Autistic children may struggle to control or communicate their emotions, causing abnormal, impulsive, or repetitive patterns of behavior.
According to the National Association of Autism, boys are four times more likely to receive an ASD diagnosis, and symptoms typically present before the age of three.
Your child may need an evaluation for autism if they exhibit abnormal behavior patterns, have difficulty interacting with others, or struggle to process new information.
They could show symptoms such as:
Children with autism typically respond well to consistent routines and predictable surroundings. They often overreact to unexpected or unplanned events and have difficulty adapting to change.
There’s no blood or laboratory test that can definitively diagnose autism. The Virginia Pediatric Group providers utilize specially designed assessment tools and developmental screenings to evaluate your child for ASD.
Your pediatric provider monitors your child for signs of developmental or cognitive delays as part of their well-child visit every year. Your child also has a developmental screening at 18 and 24 months for autism.
Early diagnosis and intervention are essential to give your autistic child the tools they need to manage their symptoms and successfully navigate the world. If you suspect your child shows signs of autism, make sure to share your concerns with your pediatrician.
There is no cure for autism. Your child's personalized treatment plan focuses on family support and helping both of you manage their disability and adapt to the world.
Your provider may develop a care plan that includes:
Your autism support team also works with your child's school to ensure they get the services they need while learning. They also connect you both with community resources that fit your needs.
If your child has autism or you suspect they may, call Virginia Pediatric Group or schedule an appointment online today.