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Autism Spectrum Disorder


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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects your child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. While the cause of ASD is not always unknown, current research shows that some cases of autism may be linked to genetic conditions, such as Fragile X syndrome, chromosome abnormalities, and some forms of epilepsy. Understanding these genetic aspects of autism can help you find the right care for your child.


Autism Screening
During your child’s well-child checkups, your pediatrician may conduct an autism screening. This screening will evaluate your child’s behaviors and communication skills.

Genetic Evaluation and Testing
Clinical geneticists provide a comprehensive evaluation — including a physical exam and review of your child’s medical history and family history — to see if your child shows characteristics of a known genetic condition. The geneticists then use blood or saliva samples to study your child’s genes. Genetic testing can reveal if your child has a genetic condition that has been linked to autism, which can help your child receive personalized care.


Early Interventions
Children with autism benefit from early intervention. Early intervention may include different types of therapy — such as physical, occupational, or speech — as early as possible following diagnosis.

Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can help children develop motor skills and improve balance and movement. Some children with autism may also need help developing muscle tone.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy helps children with daily activities like dressing or feeding themselves.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can address behavior problems in children with autism.

Speech Therapy
Speech therapy helps children develop communication and language skills.

Medicines can help with some behaviors related to autism, such as aggression or anxiety.

Special Education
School-aged children with autism may need extra support at school through a special education program. You will work with your child’s teachers and school to create an individualized education plan (IEP) for your child. Federal law requires that schools provide these plans to parents and children.

Clinical Trials
Clinical trials may include new medicines or therapies to treat autism. Your child may be eligible for a clinical trial depending on their symptoms and their genetics.

Why Choose UHealth?

Innovative treatment designed for you. Using advanced genetic tests, our genetics experts can identify the exact cause of your child's condition and provide medical management based on your child's  needs. This means your child may get more tailored testing and treatment options designed just for them.

A team approach to your care. Our clinical geneticists (medical doctors who specialize in genes and heredity) work alongside expert physicians in oncology, neurology, pediatrics, cardiology, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, and other specialties to give you the most comprehensive care in South Florida — all in one place. Whether you receive care in our multidisciplinary clinics or a general clinic, we ensure you receive personalized treatment specific to your needs. Our dedicated genetic counselors, medical geneticists, and other medical staff support you and your family in all steps of your medical journey.

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