Autism

ABC Pediatrics Fresno -  - Pediatrician

ABC Pediatrics Fresno

Pediatrician located in Fresno, CA

Around 1 in 54 children is on the autism spectrum, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At ABC Pediatrics Fresno in Fresno, California, Katayoon Shahinfar, MD, diagnoses and treats children with autism. An early diagnosis can significantly improve the quality of life for a child who has autism. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shahinfar, call ABC Pediatrics Fresno to book an appointment today.

Autism Q&A

What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a wide range of conditions that affect a person’s social skills, communication abilities, speech, and behavior. Most people receive an autism diagnosis during early childhood. However, some aren’t diagnosed until they’re much older. The disorder affects every child differently. 

The signs and symptoms of autism range from very mild to severe; some children with autism develop strong social skills and excel in school, while others require lifelong care.

What are the signs of autism?

Children typically begin exhibiting signs of autism by the age of 3. However, some symptoms can appear within a child’s first year of life. In many cases, a child reaches their expected milestones for the first year but begins regressing around 18-24 months.

While the symptoms of autism vary widely, depending on the severity of the condition, common indicators include:

  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Communication challenges
  • Difficulty making eye contact
  • Struggling to engage socially
  • Trouble expressing emotions
  • Ritualistic behaviors
  • Narrow interests
  • Sensory issues
  • Difficulty adjusting to routine changes

Many children with autism are nonverbal. Others have a high-functioning form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. Children with this condition are often highly intelligent but lack social communication skills.

How is autism diagnosed?

As an experienced pediatrician, Dr. Shahinfar has diagnosed many children with autism. There is no single test to diagnose the disorder. 

Instead, Dr. Shahinfar reviews your child’s medical history to look for developmental abnormalities. She then performs a series of screening tests to make a proper diagnosis. For further evaluation, she may refer you to a child psychiatrist or psychologist.

How is autism treated?

Autism is a lifelong disorder that has no known cure. The best way to treat autism is to develop an individualized plan for your child. This personalized plan typically includes a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. Early intervention can minimize the symptoms of autism.

Common treatments for autism include:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Educational therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Antidepressants or antipsychotics
  • Nutrition 
  • Physical activity

Effectively treating autism requires a multimodal approach to care. With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Shahinfar can help your child experience the best possible life quality. Call ABC Pediatrics Fresno to schedule an appointment today to learn more.