Contact Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Physicians at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities offer comprehensive services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
What are developmental disabilities?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 17% of all American kids have developmental disabilities— conditions that arise during the period in which children make significant developmental strides, for example, taking their first steps or speaking their first words. Some of these disabilities, Down syndrome, for example, are caused by chromosomal and genetic abnormalities that result in impaired language, learning, behavior, or physical capabilities. Many of these conditions can cause intellectual disability leading to behaviors similar to those seen in children with autism.
Developmental Disabilities We Treat
- Fragile X Syndrome: the most common inherited form of mental retardation
- Down Syndrome
- Developmental regression: when a child’s function diminishes or does not progress after a normal period of development.
- Microcephaly: abnormal development in the brain resulting in an unusually small head size and cognitive and neurological problems
- Late effects of pregnancy/birth related factors such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, in-utero drug exposure, prematurity
- Traumatic brain injury: damage caused by a blow to the head resulting in intellectual or cognitive impairment
- As well as other genetic or chromosomal disorders
How can Children’s Health help?
Early identification and intervention gives your child the best chance to reach full potential. At Children’s, we have all the resources to assess and treat children with complex disabilities and support you in meeting all your child’s needs. A multidisciplinary team including psychologists, neurologists, and other physicians and specialists will evaluate your child and assess cognitive and behavioral function; language abilities; social and communication skills; and adaptive facilities. You may be asked to participate in the evaluation of your child. Various diagnostic tests may also be performed, for example, an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical activity in the brain.
Once a diagnosis is made, medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms; speech and language therapy may be provided, and our clinical psychologists may make recommendations for educational programs based on your child’s strengths and weaknesses and provide guidance on behavioral management.
The physicians who practice at Children’s Health are among the leaders in the field, contributing to research about autism and developmental disorders to help promote a greater understanding of why these conditions occur and how to best help children affected.
How do you know if your child has a developmental disability?
All parents look for milestones in their child’s development and tend to discuss these not only with pediatricians but also with other parents, for example, your baby’s first steps or words. You know your child best, and if you observe that he acts, learns, or speaks differently than other children or doesn’t seem to be achieving developmental milestones in a similar manner, speak to your doctor.