Learning your child has autism can be a shocking experience for any parent, but getting a diagnosis is the start to helping your child access the support they need. Autism is a developmental disorder that means your child has various complex needs that need to be addressed to help them develop.
An autism diagnosis means your child requires additional interventions, but with the right support in place, children with autism can have a high quality of life. At Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, Rainilda Valencia, MD, a board-certified pediatrician, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, are all highly experienced specialists in treating children with autism.
Discover more about what interventions can help your child with autism be healthy and happy.
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability of complex origins. In varying levels of severity, autism can cause your child to have difficulty with language acquisition and usage, gross and fine motor skills, social and peer relationships, and sensory responses to the environment, including sounds or sights.
Symptoms of autism often appear during early childhood, or sometimes later in childhood for more subtle cases. Dr. Valencia diagnoses autism in children nine months and older by performing a comprehensive autism developmental screening.
Dr. Valencia looks for signs of autism in your child during your recommended developmental screenings and well-child exams. In addition, she highly recommends scheduling a consultation if you notice your child experiencing speech delays, has difficulty forming or shows limited interest in social relationships, has repetitive or awkward movements, displays sensory sensitivities, or has difficulty with organizational skills.
Interventions that help with autism
If your child has been diagnosed with autism, Dr. Valencia and her team put together an individualized, comprehensive set of supports that help your child manage their symptoms and cope. Treatments often recommended by our providers include:
Speech therapy helps your child acquire or improve their verbal communication skills or find alternative, nonverbal ways to express themself and their needs. For a child with autism who is already speaking, speech therapy can help them improve their pragmatic and expressive language skills when communicating with others.
Behavioral therapies support your child in reducing the negative behaviors that commonly occur in a child with autism, while encouraging your child in developing positive behaviors and coping skills. There are various evidence-based behavioral therapies for autism, with applied behavioral analysis (ABA) being one of the most popular.
Relationship therapy aids your child in developing social skills and building relationships with peers and adults. Your child might also benefit from individual therapy or family therapy that helps you communicate with and build a thriving relationship with your child.
Occupational therapy supports your child in performing activities of daily living that help them gain independence. Dr. Valencia might also suggest physical therapy to help improve your child’s coordination.
Treating concurrent conditions
It’s common for autism to co-occur with other medical conditions, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and seizures. Dr. Valencia and her team ensure your child gets treatment for any conditions that occur alongside their autism.
Coordinating with schools and other providers
Our providers can guide your child’s school and other care providers or adults on how to best support your child. They also help coordinate and manage the various treatments your child receives for their autism.
If your child has autism or symptoms of autism and you aren’t sure where to turn, our team can help. Schedule your child’s consultation by calling Valencia Pediatrics today.