Autism Specialist

Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology

Pediatric Neurologists & Adolescent Neurologists located in Rocklin, CA & Sacramento, CA

According to current statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 59 children in the United States is identified as on the autism spectrum. This complex disorder affects social interaction, communication, and behavior. Board-certified pediatric neurologist Ashutosh Raina, MD, at Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology in Rocklin and Sacramento, California, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of autism and can develop a plan that works for you, your child, and your community. For an appointment with the compassionate team, call the office most convenient to you, or request an one online.

Autism Q & A

What is autism?

Autism, often called autism spectrum disorder, is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s behavior and communication. It’s referred to as a spectrum disorder because there are varying degrees of types and severity of symptoms.

Based on current research, doctors theorize that autism may develop due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Though the exact cause isn’t known, risk factors for the development of autism include having:

  • A sibling with autism
  • Very low birth weight
  • A genetic condition (Down syndrome)
  • Older parents

Due to the prevalence of autism in the US, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened.

What are autism symptoms?

Autism symptoms vary in both type and severity. In general, this spectrum disorder causes difficulty with communication and interaction with others, limited interests, and repetitive behaviors.

Some of the common symptoms of autism include:

  • Poor or inconsistent eye contact
  • Not looking or listening to people
  • Difficulty with back-and-forth communication
  • Facial expressions or gestures that don’t match what’s being said
  • Difficulty understanding someone else’s point of view
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Intense interest in specific topics
  • Difficulty with routine changes
  • More or less sensitive to sensory input
  • Difficulty sleeping

Though autism symptoms can be difficult, there are some strengths. Some people with autism have the ability to learn details quickly and remember them for a long period of time or may have an aptitude for a specific area, such as math, science, or music. 

How is autism diagnosed?

Autism is usually diagnosed by age two. Your pediatrician conducts a screening test that may indicate your child has behaviors suggestive of autism. If your pediatrician has concerns about autism, the experienced team at Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology can provide a comprehensive evaluation to confirm or rule out autism.

The evaluation may include contributions from a team of specialists, including Dr. Raina. Blood tests and hearing tests may also be requested to rule out other causes of your child’s behavior. 

How is autism managed?

Treatment for autism at Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology is individualized based on the types of symptoms your child has and the severity of those symptoms. Treatment may include behavioral, educational, and/or psychological therapy. Medications are also sometimes prescribed to help manage symptoms.

To schedule an appointment with the pediatric neurology experts, call Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology or request an appointment online today.