Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pediatric
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disorders that start during early childhood. They affect the way a child learns, communicates, interacts with others, and behaves. Most children do not outgrow ASD.
ASD affects each child in different ways. Some children with ASD have above-average intelligence. Others have severe learning disabilities. Some children can do or learn to do most activities. Other children need a lot of help.
The exact cause of this condition is not known. It may be caused by genes that are passed down through families.
The health care team will assess behavior and development. They will determine what level of ASD your child has. Each level has its own criteria for diagnosis.
Medicines may be prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, seizures, or behavior problems. You may receive training and support as part of your child's treatment program. You and your child may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy to help with anxiety or depression.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees your child support at school. This includes an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) made by teachers who specialize in working with students who have ASD.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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