Welcome to Autism Fundraising Guide. I focus on therapies, treatment, advice, trends and personal anecdotes based upon my experience as a parent of a sixteen year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have seen this disorder go from relatively obscure when my child was diagnosed thirteen years ago, to a very maintream epidemic today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What Doctors Are Essential for Your Autism Spectrum Child's Team?

Throughout their childhoods, children with Autism can benefit from the help of many physician specialists. every child is different and it is hard to tell which specialist will make the most positive difference for the Autism Spectrum child. I consulted with many doctors during my nineteen years of bringing up my Autism Spectrum son. Here are some of the specialists who made a positive impact.
The Neurologist is normally the first person to diagnose the child, and this was the case with my son. Neurology is mostly useful for diagnosis purposes but they also order tests and can manage medication. If the child has seizures in addition to Autism Spectrum or develops them in adolescence, then Neurology is the main specialist for that. In the case of my child, when he was young there was not much use for Neurology apart from achieving a diagnosis. However, when he developed seizures at the onset of puberty, the Neurologist had a more central role.
Speech Language Pathologist 
Although they are not usually technically doctors, Speech Language Pathologists are medical professionals who specialize in communication and language. Since children with Autism are usually language impaired to one degree or another, the Speech Language Pathologist is invaluable. My child could not speak at all when he began at speech therapy. Speech Language Pathologists also use what are called "Alternative Communication Devices" to teach communication to those children and adults who are totally unable to voice.
Psychologists are also able to diagnose Autism Spectrum. They usually administer Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests to the child. They also have behavior indexes that measure how the child acts in relation to others of his or her age group. My child had a secondary diagnosis from a Child Psychologist after getting a diagnosis from a Neurologist. It is good to get second opinions in order to be sure.
At various times during an Autism Spectrum child's life, they may become very agitated or have other Autism symptoms that may be helped by a Psychiatrist. We used a Child Psychiatrist and found this specialty to be really helpful. The decision of whether to have an Autism Spectrum child on medication is a personal one that must be determined in conjunction with a great physician. I was very loath to have my child on medication but ultimately it was necessary. To my great surprise and relief, it was immensely helpful.
Children with Autism are very sensitive to a variety of things that they eat and come in contact with. It is hard to see many times just what it is that is disturbing them. Luckily, there is a specialty that deals with this and that is Allergy. In our case my son was allergic to cat, dog and dust with no food allergies. (He was already on a special diet, so that may be why.) He did do the whole course of allergy shots and they were immensely beneficial. Today we have three dogs and he loves and deals well with them all, thanks to the allergy shots.
The above are some of the specialists that may help children with Autism. Autism Spectrum children can benefit from Neurology and Speech Language Pathology. Also, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Allergists contribute to the improvement of the child. Generally, it is a good idea to form a team of specialists that can deal with the various troubling aspects of the disorder. This team approach really attacks the disorder on all fronts, giving the Autism Spectrum child a real chance to improve.

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