Autism impacts social, emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning. Children with autism require developmental and educational interventions that are different in both form and intensity from those required by children with other special needs.
Because the human brain develops more rapidly during the first three years of life than ever again, and because infants and very young children are learning so much about communication and social interaction during these years, early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorders can make a big difference.
A psychiatrist can be a more effective advocate and treatment coordinator with a basic understanding of the unique and pervasive deficits that present in autism. Communicating why early and intensive programming is a clinically and scientifically sound practice is most important. A multidisciplinary approach, and guidance and coordination by the psychiatrist is crucial.
So, how exactly can a psychiatrist help an autistic child? Here are 4 ways:
1. Initial diagnosis and intervention: there is substantial evidence that early and appropriate intervention is strongly related to better outcome.
2. Analysis and treatment of associated psychiatric disorders such as:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
3. Treatment counseling and recommendations:
- Nutrition Management
4. Parent support and education: prolonged reactions of shock, denial, helplessness, guilt, anger, grief, and resentment interfere with the parents’ ability to negotiate the many obstacles they will face in securing effective services for their child, not just initially, but over the course of their child’s life.
One of the most important factors when working with a child and adolescent psychiatrist is trust. This psychiatrist may be in your lives for many years and one needs to feel quite comfortable when entrusting one’s children to their care. Open communication between you, your child and the child and adolescent psychiatrist is paramount to the success of any treatment plan.
If you would like to consult with one of our psychiatrists about treatment options for an autistic child, please give us a call at 919-636-5240 option #1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.