The autism program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s provides comprehensive assessment and diagnostic services for children and adolescents with known or suspected autism spectrum disorder.
An accurate diagnosis is critical for helping children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and their families identify appropriate intervention services. We provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations in one centralized location to help families understand their child's unique strengths and areas of need to help each patient reach his or her greatest potential.
Our team believes the first years of life are critical to a child’s development and are particularly important for children with ASD. The greatest progress is made through direct care provided by a comprehensive team of experts working together. We also include the family as part of our care team and offer parents support, education and training.
Although autism can’t be cured, early diagnosis and treatment can make a dramatic difference in a child’s life and ability to function at home, school and social settings. The needs of children with ASD may change as they grow and develop. We offer specialized developmental and psychological services to help children with ASD navigate challenges that may arise.
In addition to comprehensive pediatric care, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has nationally recognized programs in pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy to help children reach developmental milestones.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by restricted or repetitive behaviors and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and impact daily functioning. Signs of ASD may include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Reduced sharing of interests, emotions or affection
- Difficulty in nonverbal and verbal communication
- Limited showing of toys or objects of interest to others for shared enjoyment
- Playing with toys in ways other than their intended use (e.g. arranging toys in a line, watching the wheels spin on toy cars)
- Unusual, repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping, rocking from side to side or more complicated full-body movements
Many children with ASD have complex needs requiring the support of specialists in different fields working together. Treatment for ASD is most successful when it is designed to meet a child’s specific needs.
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