In addition to expert pediatric medical and surgical care, All Children’s has nationally recognized programs in pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy to help children reach developmental milestones. Parents and pediatricians know that All Children’s is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of children with developmental disabilities.
The first years of life are critical to a child’s development. We believe that children with autism spectrum disorders can make the greatest progress through direct care provided by a multidisciplinary team of experts working together to help your child. We include the family as part of our team and offer parent support 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.
Our Autism Center provides comprehensive services in one centralized location to make it as convenient as possible for children to receive the evaluation and treatment needed to help them reach their potential.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disabilities that affect a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, participate in daily life skills and relate to others. Autism spectrum disorders are now the most common pediatric diagnosis in the U.S. and include:
Autism spectrum disorders typically affect several areas of a child’s development: verbal and nonverbal communication, behavior, social skills and learning. This means that children with ASD have complex needs, requiring the support of specialists in different fields, working together to help your child. Treatment for ASD is most successful when it is designed to meet the child’s specific needs.
Each child has a Core Team of specialists:
Depending on your child’s additional needs, the team may expand to include a:
Some children with ASD have accompanying medical issues and may need the care of specialists in immunology, gastroenterology, genetics and sleep disorders. Pediatric experts in these and other areas are available here at All Children’s Hospital.
The Autism Center’s specialized services include these evidence-based programs:
Additional services that may help your child include:
Call the Autism Center at (727) 767-2886 to schedule your first visit. An advanced pediatric registered nurse practitioner will be your case manager. She will discuss your concerns, what types of evaluations your child has already had, and what evaluation services you may need at our Center. We try not to repeat assessments that were done previously so that your child can move ahead to receiving services.
Some children may go through a team assessment here at our Autism Center as the first step in our team approach to care. The Assessment Team includes:
The Developmental Pediatrician and/or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner will meet with you to discuss the results of the team assessment. They will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan for your child.
During treatment, your child’s therapists and medical providers will stay in close communication. The different service areas will work together to help your child make progress—putting the puzzle pieces together to benefit your child and family.
Getting an ASD diagnosis often can be a confusing time. It takes time to understand and accept the diagnosis and how it may affect your family. Please know that you are not alone. Our Autism Center staff can help you find understanding and education through our Parent Training sessions.
In addition, the Hospital’s Family Resource Center has books, brochures and online resources, along with librarians who can help you with information searches.
Through support, education and a team approach that includes the family, we can help you make informed treatment choices and be an advocate for your child.
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