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Autism Specialist

The Pediatric Center of Stone Mountain

Pediatricians located in Stone Mountain, GA

Autism is a complex yet treatable developmental disability marked by specific behaviors, some of which are more disruptive than others. For Stone Mountain, Georgia, families struggling to find help for a loved one with autism, the care of the team at The Pediatric Center of Stone Mountain is an invaluable resource. To learn more about diagnostic and treatment services for autism, call or schedule an appointment online.

Autism Q & A

What is autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder that usually presents symptoms during early childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one out of every 59 kids born in America today have autism.

Autism is known as a spectrum disorder. That means individuals with autism can display a wide range of symptoms at varying levels of intensity. Many children with autism are highly functioning, while some suffer a far more debilitating form of the disorder. 

How do I know if my child should have an autism evaluation?

Indicators of autism most frequently begin to appear around the age of two or three. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, or M-CHAT, is a tool that can identify kids who may need more in-depth screening. 

Very often, there are developmental delays present prior to that age, and some kids receive a diagnosis as early as 18 months. In some cases, the symptoms of autism don’t become clear until a child enters school or daycare. 

Some things to keep an eye out for include:

  • Delay in speech development
  • Infrequent eye contact
  • Lack of make-believe play or spontaneous play
  • Few or no connections to other children
  • Repetitive behaviors, like repeating the same sounds or flapping the hands
  • Fixation on small details or parts of certain objects 
  • Little tolerance for cuddling or holding
  • No understanding of simple directions or questions
  • Difficulty recognizing or interpreting nonverbal cues 

In some cases, there are clear indications of developmental problems, but often parents are aware that something is wrong but unsure what might be causing their child’s specific issues. 

Is it possible to treat autism?

There are many effective treatments that can help your child reach their highest potential and interact more easily with others. A growing body of research supports the idea that early treatment improves outcomes for kids with autism spectrum disorder. 

At The Pediatric Center of Stone Mountain, a team of specialists can help your family find the care and services needed to assist your child. From thorough psychological evaluations to customized treatment plans, you receive guidance and advice on how to help your child succeed.  

Behavior and communication therapies are part of that process. The focus is on teaching your child how to act in a wide range of social settings, how to read nonverbal cues of others, and how to improve communication skills. Applied behavior analysis, or ABA therapy, helps kids understand the consequences of various behaviors, which can help them think through their actions and make good behavioral choices. 

Medication might also play a role in treating autism, but drug therapy is never the preferred solution at The Pediatric Center of Stone Mountain. Autism is a lifelong disorder, and teaching your child how to navigate the world is always the primary treatment focus. 

The practice also has professional relationships with the Marcus Center, the Georgia Autism Center, and other organizations that provide support for Georgia families struggling with autism. 

If you’d like more information about autism spectrum disorder or would like to bring our child in for a diagnostic evaluation, simply call The Pediatric Center of Stone Mountain or use the online booking tool to set up a visit.