The treatment of children with ASD focuses on educational and language and psychological therapies. Even very young children can benefit from the language, cognitive-behavioral and developmental therapies designed specifically for children with social and communication problems and their families. Special teachers and classrooms can help older children improve their academic performance and social skills.
Regardless of their cognitive level, all children with ASD can learn – they simply learn differently than other children. It is important to contact your local school district before your child starts school to discuss how to meet your child’s learning needs. Children with ASD usually require special education supports and services. Infants up to age three and children are often eligible for early intervention services. Contact your local Child Find program to schedule an evaluation. Children over the age of three are often eligible for special education services. Contact your local school district for more information.
A team of professionals from across Children’s National will help evaluate your child and put a treatment plan together. You may also ask your doctor to review the plan. In some cases, medications will be indicated as part of your child’s treatment plan to improve attention and behavior regulation, or anxiety and mood. However, no medication has been found that directly targets core symptoms of ASD.
Don't forget that children with ASD have the same healthcare needs as any other child and benefit from the same healthcare and disease prevention services. Accessing healthcare services can be challenging for children with autism because of communication barriers and sensory sensitivities. Preparation and planning help make medical visits more familiar and comfortable for children and their caregivers. As children with autism learn to cooperate with medical visits, they are better able to participate in healthy living and they build trust with their healthcare providers that impacts their overall health for their lifetime. Children’s National has a variety of visual supports and other resources to help families prepare and plan for medical visits.