If your child has any symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, you'll likely be referred to a specialist who treats children with ASD, such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist, pediatric neurologist, or developmental pediatrician, for evaluation. Our patients can schedule a COVID-19 vaccination through NYU Langone Health MyChart or the NYU Langone Health app. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine. Read our updated information on wearing a mask for your visit and our visitor policy.
In addition to traditional treatments, some people and parents use treatments that don't fit into any of the other categories. These treatments are known as complementary and alternative treatments and are often used to complement more traditional approaches. They may include special diets, herbal supplements, chiropractic care, animal therapy, art therapy, mindfulness, or relaxation therapies. It is important to always talk to your doctor before starting any complementary and alternative treatment. There is currently no standard treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Child psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose and treat various behavioral disorders in children. Psychiatrists differ from psychologists in that they are licensed doctors and can prescribe medication, while psychologists cannot (with some exceptions).Each intervention or treatment plan for autism must be tailored to address the individual's specific needs. A person's treatment plan may include behavioral interventions, other therapies, medications, or a combination of these. Symptoms of autism usually develop before the age of two.
Pediatricians play an important role in detecting the condition. The earlier autism is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin. Early treatment may improve long-term prognosis. The pediatrician may also refer children with autism to specialists or other health professionals. The pediatrician would still coordinate the overall care and physical health of the child, and ensure that he or she receives the necessary help. Autism can interfere with people's ability to learn and interact with others.
People with this condition may become hyperactive or aggressive. They can also develop random concerns with things like numbers or symbols. Autism is linked to certain mental health conditions, such as anxiety and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). These conditions can worsen the symptoms of autism.
Some people may need medicine to help control their behavior. A psychiatrist can help diagnose and treat these problems. Many people with autism also have epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes seizures. Signs of a seizure include unusual staring, muscle stiffness, uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs, and confusion. People with autism who have these symptoms will probably need a neurologist.
This doctor has special training in diagnosing and treating disorders that affect the brain. Children with autism often have speech delays. Some children may not speak at all by the age of two. Others lose the early language skills they developed as babies. Some children with autism continually repeat what they hear.
Many people with autism aren't interested in communicating. A speech therapist can help people with autism improve their speech skills. People who cannot speak can learn to communicate with gestures or images. Many people with autism are sensitive to what they are going to eat. Some eat only a few types of food.
Behavioral problems can also make it difficult to eat. There is no scientific evidence, but some experts believe that certain dietary changes may help control autism. These changes involve avoiding specific foods, as well as taking dietary supplements. A nutritionist can offer food advice to people with autism and help make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need. The Lieber Recovery Clinic is a specialized service that offers comprehensive outpatient treatment for adults (18+) with high-functioning ASD, emphasizing skills conducive to work, school and independent living.
The Neuropsychological Assessment Service offers comprehensive diagnostic assessments for children, adolescents and adults suspected of having ASD to guide treatment planning. Current treatments for ASD seek to reduce symptoms that interfere with daily functioning and quality of life. Recovery-oriented and skill-based behavioral therapies are considered evidence-based treatments for ASD.