Charles Sophy (Private Practice in Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) gives expert video advice on: What are the warning signs that my child may be autistic?; What is the treatment and prognosis for a child with autism? and more...
What is "autism"?
Autism falls under the umbrella of a mental disorder. There are 5 types of autism and depending on the type that your child is diagnosed with, this will dictate the treatment that is necessary. Each one has specific criteria that is designed by psychological testing and a team approach of occupational therapy and speech therapy, that once met, are able to give you a full complement of the deficits of your child and the strengths of your child, helping to build a solid treatment plan for autism.
What are the possible causes of autism in children?
The possible causes of autism in children have been very study-varied, and research has emerged that has shown some genetic component and some birth trauma component. Some people believe it's vaccinations at an early age and some people think it's food. There has been no identified cause of it autism other than the fact that it is something that has to be looked at early, diagnosed, and treated in a really tight, compact way, to create the best outcome for your child.
What are the warning signs that my child may be autistic?
There are some social behaviors that will trigger your thought to go get an initial evaluation. Most autisms have some social component to them that is deficited in the ways of interacting with others. Oftentimes autistic children are much more inward and unable to interact with the world around them, meaning other people. They're fine one on one, but often they have a difficult time integrating themselves with their peers or into a group, so you will start to see some of that. But that's not to say your child has autism, more that there is something you want to take a look at and see what is developmentally appropriate for your child and what is not.
What is the treatment and prognosis for a child with autism?
Solid treatment plan for a child with autism means that the team has to be in place to address every strength and every weakness of that child. So a team may be comprised of a speech therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, behavioralist and occupational therapist, depending on the needs of your child.