First Signs logo
First Signs logo
First Signs logo

ASD Video Glossary | In Your State Research | Products

Who We Are | Concerns About a Child | Screening | Diagnosis & Treatment
Brother and Sister on the playground

Specialists can play a key role in the diagnosis of, and treatment for, developmental disorders. Parents and physicians should seek input from specialists as part of a “team approach” or a “multidisciplinary approach” that draws on special expertise and is geared to the unique needs of each child.

In a medical practice, physicians routinely refer children to specialists because the nature or severity of a condition requires special expertise. Similarly, many children with developmental disorders benefit from referrals to specialists with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Each developmental disorder has multiple, and variable, impacts on a child. These impacts are best assessed and addressed by a range of clinicians and caregivers, working together in a team approach. This approach, also known as a “multidisciplinary approach,” is built on the core concept that each participant, whether parent, physician, or other clinician, adds a new dimension of understanding and expertise.

In the case of children with autism spectrum disorder, First Signs recommends “a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach,” which can include one or more of the following professionals:

  • integrative doctors
  • psychologists
  • neurologists
  • pediatricians
  • developmental pediatricians
  • child psychiatrists
  • speech-language pathologists
  • occupational therapists
  • physical therapists
  • audiologists
  • educators
  • special educators
  • social workers

The composition of the “team” is contingent on the presenting needs of the child. Through observation, evaluation, and study, physicians and parents can work together to identify the unique needs of each child. Accordingly, any specialists involved and treatments implemented should be determined by those unique needs.

Parents and physicians seeking information about area specialists can contact the local office of the ARC, a national organization “of and for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities and their families.”

A parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder notes, “It is a team approach. It’s the parents, it’s the doctors, it’s the therapists all working together. You know the goal, to get the child to be better than he is today.”

Back to top

Next page ==>


©2001-2014 First Signs, Inc. All rights reserved. | | Please do not copy, post, distribute, or create derivative work without permission from First Signs.
Last update: 03/13/14
SecurityMetrics for PCI Compliance, QSA, IDS, Penetration Testing, Forensics, and Vulnerability Assessment