OVERVIEW OF AUTISM
Autism, which is a pervasive neuro-developmental disorder, affects a person’s ability to interact and communicate with other people. Because there are different levels on the autism spectrum, some people have relatively normal function while others face significant challenges. This neurological condition is becoming more prevalent around the world.
With so much emphasis placed on early detection and intervention, parents should schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as they notice any telltale signs of this disorder. That way, the doctor has the opportunity to make a firm diagnosis, followed by developing a treatment plan for the child’s autism.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Depending on where a child’s condition falls on the spectrum, signs and symptoms vary. However, the most common ones include:
- A delay or trouble communicating or learning to communicate
- A slow or lack of response to verbal communication or commands
- Difficulty interacting with other people
- Repetitive body movements like rocking, swinging the arms and tapping things
- Trouble making eye contact even with family members
- Difficulty interpreting body language and facial expressions
- A fixed stare
- Overly preoccupied or even obsessed with doing things in a specific way or sequence
- Developmentally delayed social skills
KEY BENEFITS OF A PEDIATRICIAN VISIT
For parents who suspect a child may have this disorder, it is important to have them seen by a pediatrician. Doing this leads to a lot of benefits. A doctor who has treated the different levels of autism can make a firm diagnosis. Also, going to a pediatrician who works with children that have this condition makes finding the right treatment plan easier and less stressful.
Another benefit of seeing a pediatrician for a child’s autism is the discovery of secondary issues. For instance, many children with this disorder also have ADHD, dyslexia, a hearing impairment or a speech impediment, among other things. A doctor who focuses all or a portion of their practice on this condition can diagnose and treat secondary problems as well.
As part of the overall treatment plan, a doctor may recommend speech therapy or even genetic testing. A developmental pediatrician can follow a child’s development over the years to determine if the current treatment is working or if they need to devise a new plan. For parents, covering all the bases for a child living with autism brings a sense of relief.
While often frightening for parents, there are many viable options available through a pediatrician. For a child’s autism, it is important to know that help is available. Instead of buying into the hype, schedule a consultation with a doctor to learn the facts. That way, you’ll have not only a firm diagnosis for your child but also a working plan for improvements.
Request an appointment here: https://www.hgpediatrics.com or call Homero Garza MD – HG Pediatrics at (832) 709-1110 for an appointment in our Houston office.