Autism is a lifelong condition, but working with a team of specialists can help provide comprehensive treatment to vastly improve your child's functional capabilities and quality of life. In the case that medication is beneficial, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober can provide knowledgeable guidance and effective autism treatment. As an expert in treating mental health disorders, he helps autism patients and their families at his practice in Hollywood, FL. Dr. Bober has been developing personalized treatment solutions for more than 15 years.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and non-verbal communication, and restricted or repetitive behaviors.
Severity of ASD
There are three levels of severity that are associated with ASD:
- Requiring support
- Requiring substantial support
- Requiring very substantial support
During the diagnostic process, a doctor can identify the severity of your child's condition and help you implement the proper treatment and lifestyle changes.
Are Certain Children More Likely to Develop ASD?
- Being born to older parents
- Having a family member with autism
- Gender: boys are four times more likely to have ASD
- Conditions such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis
While autism affects all races, white children are also more likely to develop ASD than black or Hispanic children.
Identifying ASD in Your Child
Typically, autism becomes apparent around two or three years of age. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have identified several telling signs that can help determine whether you should schedule an evaluation for your child:
- Being unresponsive to their name by 12 months of age
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Minimal or no eye contact
- Repetitive use of language or motor mannerisms
- Wanting to be alone
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Having obsessive interest
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
- Becoming upset by minor changes
- Flat or inappropriate facial expressions
- Avoidance or resistance to physical contact
- Not sharing interests with others
Early diagnosis and intervention are imperative for children with autism. These steps can lead to significantly improved behavior, functioning, and future well-being.
What Does the Diagnostic Process Entail?
If you suspect your child has autism, it is usually recommended that you visit your primary care physician. They can perform an initial basic screening. In the case that the doctor believes your child is exhibiting signs of autism, they will recommend you to a specialist such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. A formal diagnostic evaluation is then performed. This usually includes an interview and play-based testing.
Are Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatable?
While there is no cure for autism, patients with these conditions can lead successful, functional lives with proper treatment. Each ASD patient exhibits unique symptoms and requires their own customized treatment, usually with different services provided by a team of specialists. This can include:
- Behavior & Communication Approaches
- These therapies are aimed at developing and improving behaviors by providing direction and tools. This may include approaches such as Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), or the TEACCH Autism Program.
- While medication cannot be used to cure autism, it can be helpful in controlling some related symptoms such as depression or an inability to focus. Dr. Bober can help you find a medication and dosage that provides the greatest benefit for your child.
- Dietary Changes
- In some cases, dietary changes may have some impact on your child's behavior. As such, some specialists may recommend nutrition supplements or eliminating certain foods from your child's diet.
Treatment plans evolve with the patient, accommodating their needs as they grow and develop.
Each ASD patient exhibits unique symptoms and requires their own customized treatment, usually with different services provided by a team of specialists.
Creating a Strong Support System
To provide the best environment for your child, as well as your entire family, it is important that you:
- Become educated about ASD
- Maintain a routine
- Join support groups
Additionally, you should continuously consult with a specialist as you and your child encounter new obstacles.
Ensure Your Child Receives Quality Care
Early intervention is key. Contact our office at (954) 994-1115 to schedule an evaluation. Dr. Bober understands the difficulties and stress that can be placed on your family trying to navigate the effects of ASD. He can help you develop a custom treatment plan that may include medication to help your child lead a happier, fuller life.
- Definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder - Autism Speaks®
- Prevalence of ASD - Autism Society
- Risk factors - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Boys are four times more likely to have ASD - National Institute of Mental Health
- White children are more likely to have ASD - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Autism presents around two or three years old - American Psychiatric Association
- Symptoms of ASD - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Early treatment can significantly improve quality of life - Autism Society
- Treatment options for ASD - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)