Kent Amstutz, D.O.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that impairs thinking, feeling and social functioning. Most often this disorder becomes apparent by the age of 3 and lasts throughout a child’s life. Autism studies have shown males are four times more likely than females to develop Autism, and the amount of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder have significantly rose over the last several years.
Signs of Autism can vary in subtleties, but parents are usually the first to begin noticing changes in their child’s social and communication behaviors. Some of the signs a parent may notice include:
Early detection and intervention of Autism is important to ensure a child receives the proper care needed. Boys Town Pediatrics encourages parents to schedule an office visit with their pediatrician if they are concerned about their child’s developmental progress, or if their child is showing signs of Autism.
During the office visit, a pediatrician will review the child’s medical history and perform a developmental exam. The pediatrician will specifically look for several language milestones that include:
If additional testing is needed, a pediatrician may refer to a developmental behavioral physician, who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of development disorders.
Although there is no cure for Autism, there are treatment and education approaches that can reduce some of the challenges a child and parent may face. Because Autism varies on levels of severity, treatment is individualized to fit each child’s specific needs and to highlight a child’s abilities.