About 2.3% of American children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). At Southside Pediatric Center, experienced board-certified pediatrician Mary Catherine Arrieta, MD, CGP, provides compassionate support for children with ASD and their families in the Petersburg, Virginia, area. Schedule your appointment through the online feature or call the office to set up a visit with Dr. Arrieta now.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a complex developmental disability. Because of differences in brain development, some people with autism experience difficulties with social interactions, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
Autism can affect people of any age but currently affects 1 in 59 children in the United States.
The symptoms of autism in children may include:
In addition to these symptoms, your child may experience delayed language, cognitive, learning, and motor skills. Some children with autism show signs of hyperactivity, inattention, anxiety, and other issues.
Usually, symptoms first appear at around 12-18 months, though it often takes longer for diagnosis, with the average age of diagnosis being 3-10 years old.
Autism can vary quite a bit, so it may look different for your child.
There’s no simple lab test for autism, so your child will be referred to a child development specialist for screening.
Some of the different aspects of their care may include behavioral therapy, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medication, along with many other approaches designed to improve quality of life and general wellness.