Mullica HIll 856-294-5600
Haddon Heights 856-547-7300
Haddon Pediatric Group     

Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Autism - Symptoms, Consult with Pediatrician, Developmental Pediatricians, Therapies

 

What is Autism?

Autism is an increasingly common disorder that affects a  person’s ability to interact socially with others. It can also lead to  repetitive behaviors, strict adherence to routines, and sensory issues. The definite cause is currently unknown, but researchers are exploring both genetic and environmental factors. Importantly, we know that immunizations are NOT related to autism.  Individuals with autism may have mild or severe symptoms, which is why we now refer to “autism spectrum disorders.”

 

If you think your child may be exhibiting symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, call (856) 547-7300 today to schedule an appointment at the Haddon Heights branch of Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group. Or to reach the Mullica Hill office, call (856) 294-5600. 

 

Symptoms of Autism

Autism is characterized by a collection of symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Avoiding direct eye contact
  • Preferring to play alone
  • Avoiding physical contact and affection
  • Not speaking
  • Losing the ability to speak they once had (Developmental regression)
  • Lack of emotion in facial expressions
  • Inability to start or hold a conversation
  • Speaking  in a robotic voice
  • Difficulty interpreting social cues
  • Repetitive movements, such as rocking, flapping, or spinning
  • Being dependent on routines and rituals and being disturbed by any slight deviation 
  • Moving awkwardly, such as toe walking or stiff movement 
  • Hyper-focusing on one object or activity
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
  • Preferring a very short list of foods, sometimes accepting or excluding foods based on color or texture
  • Self-harming behaviors like head banging and biting

Consult with a Pediatrician

If your child exhibits one or more of these symptoms, schedule a consultation with your pediatrician. Many of these symptoms have other causes and may not be related to autism. Ultimately it is often best to have your child evaluated by a developmental pediatrician who can conduct a thorough developmental assessment.

 

Developmental Pediatricians 

Also called developmental-behavioral pediatricians, these doctors have completed additional training and certification that helps them diagnose and treat children with developmental-behavioral disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, learning disabilities, and more. While the wait for an appointment can be long, these consultations are an important step in establishing a diagnosis of autism.

 

Therapies for Autism

There is currently no cure for autism spectrum disorders, but there are some therapies that have proven successful in managing symptoms and improving the quality of life for children with the disorder and their families. 
 

  • Behavioral and Communication. This type of therapy helps the child learn appropriate social, behavioral, and communication skills.
  • Educational. Children with autism sometimes respond better to alternative educational approaches. Most children with autism will need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • Psychological. It can be helpful for children with autism to undergo psychological therapy to help them manage their emotions. 
  • Physical. Physical therapy can help children with autism to manage the physical symptoms of their disorder. 
  • Medication. Some medications have proven to help control the symptoms of autism. 
  • Family. Therapy can help other members of the family (parents, siblings, grandparents) to interact with the autistic child and help them to practice social skills. 
 

Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group Provides Diagnosis and Treatment for Autism

Among the wide range of pediatric services provided by Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group, autism spectrum disorder is included. If you notice any of the symptoms of autism in your child, contact the experts at Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group. Call (856) 547-7300 today to schedule an appointment at the Haddon Heights office or (856) 294-5600 for the Mullica Heights office.