Autistic Spectrum Disorders Clinic
The mission of the clinic is to provide diagnosis and treatment to children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Occasionally, adults are also evaluated in the clinic.
What are Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?
The ASD are a group of disorders which begin in early childhood, often as early as 2-3 years of age. Affected individuals present with social and communication problems with a tendency to focus excessively on certain topics or behaviors. Sometimes referred to as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), these conditions often persist through out the life span.
The main categories are autism and Asperger syndrome. When an individual does not show all the symptoms of autism or Asperger syndrome, the label of Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDDNOS) is used.
Most of the referred patients also suffer from other psychiatric and behavioral symptoms, such as, hyperactivity, depression and anxiety. Studies suggest that as many as 70% of referred children and adolescents with ASD have co-occurring psychiatric and medical conditions.
Diagnosis is reached after a comprehensive multi-disciplinary assessment consisting of: neuropsychological testing; speech and language evaluation; a semi-structured interview of the care-givers; direct observation of the patient; and a full medical/psychiatric examination.
The main functions of the clinic are as follows:
- Diagnostic clarification of difficult cases
- Teasing out the presence of other medical and psychiatric symptoms
- Consulting with school authorities about treatment strategies
- Training residents in child psychiatry; pediatrics; and other disciplines
- Conducting research
- Educating and informing parents about the diagnosis and treatment
- Providing psychopharmacologic treatment where feasible
- Organizing short-term groups for care-givers and patients
To schedule an initial appointment:
Depression Center & Ambulatory Psychiatry