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 disorders.
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 and 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, in school and in 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 group of complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by repetitive patterns or behaviors and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning. Signs of ASD may include:
- Avoiding eye contact and other interacting with others to achieve specific goals
- Difficulty imitating gestures and actions of others
- Not showing 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 flapping their hands or arms, rocking from side to side or twirling
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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