There are multiple routes available for receiving an assessment and diagnosis for your child. Children can receive a diagnosis from a developmental pediatrician, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist. Comprehensive evaluations can be conducted by a team of specialists to help you more fully understand your child's needs and recommendations for treatment. Additional evaluations can be performed by audiologists (to rule out hearing loss), speech & language therapists, and occupational therapists. Basic evaluations are typically available through the school district as well.
A comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment and diagnosis can provide important information about your child’s behavior and development. It can be used to create a 'roadmap' for treatment by identifying your child’s unique strengths and challenges and which areas of development and behavior should be targeted for effective intervention.
Intensive therapeutic intervention for Autism typically incorporates multiple therapeutic approaches that focus on the key social, communication and behavioral issues the individual child is experiencing. Multiple forms of therapy can be used to create a treatment program that addresses both core symptoms and associated symptoms of ASD. Common therapies used to treat ASD include Behavioral Therapy (such as Applied Behavioral Analysis and Health Behavior Intervention), Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and Social Skills groups.
During the preschool period, the National Research Council recommends that children with autism receive approximately 25 hours of structured intervention per week. Intervention can include time spent in a developmental program, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, one-on-one or small group intervention, as well as parent delivered intervention.
Medical providers that specialize in neurology and/or psychiatry can provide developmental and diagnostic assessments, medication management, and specialized treatment for autism spectrum disorder. While there is no cure for ASD, associated symptoms such as anxiety, impulsivity, depression, or hyperactivity, can be reduced through the use of medications. Neurologists and psychiatrists can prescribe psychotropic medications or other treatments for associated symptoms of ASD. Children with ASD are also at increased risk for the development of epilepsy, which may be managed with one or more anticonvulsant drugs.
Early diagnosis and consistent, quality therapeutic intervention are essential to improving the longterm outcomes for children with autism. Please use the links below to view local service providers by category. These lists are meant as a guide for locating potential service providers in the Houston area. None of these lists are exhaustive, and KNOWAutism does not endorse any particular group, provider, or therapeutic approach. To recommend a service provider or to request to be added to a particular list, please contact us.