Autism Specialist

Healthy Kids Care at Sunrise

Atousa Ghaneian, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician located in Las Vegas, NV

The signs of autism may appear in your baby’s first few months, or they may not become obvious for several years or when your child starts to socialize. Atousa Ghaneian, MD, FAAP, at Healthy Kids Care at Sunrise in Las Vegas, Nevada, offers developmental screening, autism management, and long-term support for parents who need to find specialized services. If you have questions about your child’s development, don’t wait to call or book an appointment online. Getting intensive early intervention for autism can significantly improve your child’s future.

Autism Q&A

What does it mean to have autism?

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the way children think, learn, and communicate. This condition is called autism spectrum disorder because each child with autism has different strengths and challenges.

Some children with autism don’t speak, while others talk constantly. Some need 24/7 support to get through the day, while others graduate and navigate adulthood with the appropriate support. 

What core challenges define autism?

Despite their different abilities, all children with autism have two core challenges. Your child may exhibit one or more of the behaviors from each category. These are a few examples:

Difficulty with social skills and communicating

Your child may struggle to make friends or be unable to share another child’s interests. Children who can speak tend to talk about one subject. They’re often challenged to have a back-and-forth conversation and can’t share in imaginative play. 

Not making eye contact, being unable to understand nonverbal communication, and a lack of normal facial expressions also fall in this category.

Repetitive and restrictive behaviors

Repetitive and restrictive behaviors include things like needing to follow a routine and experiencing extreme distress over changes in their schedule. Children with autism typically have one favorite interest that occupies their time and attention. They also frequently repeat the same movements, say the same things, and prefer doing the same activity over and over.

Many children with autism have sensory issues. They’re either hyperactive (overly sensitive) or hypoactive (under sensitive) to pain, temperature, sounds, textures, smells, lights, and movement.

How is autism treated?

Autism treatment is based on your child’s unique strengths and weaknesses. They need to have an individualized education program (IEP) at school that defines their learning goals and the services they will receive, such as speech therapy and occupational therapy.

Children with autism also need individual therapy that targets their challenges and helps them learn the skills they need to be as independent as possible. 

There are many different therapies, such as:

  • Social skills groups
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Early Start Denver Model
  • Floortime
  • Relationship Development Intervention
  • Pivotal Response Treatment 

Dr. Atousa diagnoses autism and helps parents determine the most appropriate therapy for their child. She also helps you find the therapies and services your child needs.

Though there aren’t any medications that treat autism, your child may benefit from medications that reduce specific symptoms and behaviors associated with autism, such as self-injury and aggression. 

To learn more about autism or to schedule a developmental screening, call Healthy Kids Care at Sunrise or book an appointment online today.

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