Pediatric Autism Care San Diego
Autism Pediatric Care
Autism pediatric care includes testing, diagnosis, and ongoing care for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
What is ASD?
ASD is referred to as a spectrum because the abilities and challenges which impact children with ASD differ with each individual child. ASD refers to several conditions which previously we diagnosed separately. These include autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
What ASD conditions have in common is that they are classified as developmental disabilities impacting communication, social, and behavioral skills. There are typically no physical characteristics which indicate a child may have ASD. The lack of physical ques and wide variation of possible symptoms, along with the importance of early intervention, make testing and diagnosis by a trained and qualified clinician so important.
Screening and Diagnosis
Diagnosing ASD relies on observing a child’s development and behavior as there is no medical test, such as a blood test, that will indicate the presence of autism spectrum disorder.
San Diego Pediatrics follows the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in screening all children for ASD during regular wellness checks at 18 months and 24 months old.
We screen all children for developmental delays in order to accurately and immediately diagnose ASD so that families get the care and support they need at the earliest opportunity. We use several diagnostic tools including the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), a validated developmental screening for children between 16 and 30 months old. This parent report, along with observation by one of our qualified pediatricians, helps to determine whether a child is meeting important developmental benchmarks, and checks to see if the child’s behavior aligns with the signs and symptoms typical of ASD.
All of San Diego Pediatrics’ clinicians are able to accurately and reliably diagnose ASD, though some insurance requires confirmation from a specialist.
What comes next?
Every case of autism spectrum disorder involves unique challenges which should be handled with a personalized approach to care.
At San Diego Pediatrics, we believe in the importance of providing the time and information every patient and parent needs to best learn about and cope with their diagnosis. In the event your child is diagnosed with ASD, we will speak at length regarding the specifics of your child’s care.
We start by connecting families to important resources including specialists, local support, and resources covered by your insurance. We take the time to answer any questions you may have about your child’s diagnosis or care.
San Diego Pediatrics is proud to provide ongoing care to children with ASD. We provide wellness checks and more to all children, from newborns through 20 years old. Many families have children with and without ASD. We welcome your entire family whatever your medical needs. All of our clinicians and staff are trained to work with children with ASD no matter the child’s age or condition.
Learn more about our autism screenings, diagnosis, and care. Please call us with any questions you may have and to schedule your next visit.