Autism Specialist

Pediatrics of Long Island

Pediatrics located in Brentwood, NY & Patchogue, NY

Autism affects one out of every 59 children in the United States. Though children can be diagnosed by age 2, most don’t receive a diagnosis until after age 4. Ramon Ferrand, MD, and Alaaeldin Moawad, MD, at Pediatrics of Long Island take a patient-centered approach to care and offer autism screening and the appropriate referrals so your child gets the care they need. To schedule an appointment with the compassionate pediatricians, contact the office in Brentwood or Patchogue, New York, by phone or online today.

Autism Q&A

What is autism?

Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder, is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s social and communication skills, as well as their behavior. Children with autism communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from other children. 

Because autism is a spectrum disorder, the challenges each child has are varied, which also plays a role in the amount of help your child needs in their daily life. 

What are the signs and symptoms of autism?

Signs and symptoms of autism usually appear between the ages of 2 and 3. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficulty relating to others
  • Not pointing or looking at objects to show interest
  • Desire to be alone
  • Not playing pretend games
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
  • Difficulty understanding their own feelings
  • Prefer not to be held or cuddled
  • Not making eye contact
  • Repeating or echoing phrases
  • Difficulty adapting to a change in routine
  • Overwhelming reactions to sounds, smells, or food

Some children without autism may also experience some of these symptoms. However, for a child with autism, these signs and symptoms make life very challenging. 

If you have concerns about autism in your child, contact Pediatrics of Long Island to schedule a screening. 

What can I expect during an autism screening?

No single test can diagnose autism, but the experienced pediatricians at Pediatrics of Long Island perform a comprehensive screening to look for signs and symptoms of the developmental disorder.

Dr. Ferrand and Dr. Moawad take a patient-centered approach to care and you can expect a comprehensive one-on-one meeting with your pediatrician during your child’s autism screening.

During the exam, your pediatrician performs a developmental screening appropriate for your child’s age. This includes a discussion with you about your child’s general development, and then talking and playing with your child to assess learning, speaking, and behavior.

If delays are noted, your pediatrician refers you to a pediatric developmental specialist who can perform a comprehensive evaluation to confirm or rule out autism. 

How is autism treated?

Autism can’t be cured, but an early diagnosis and treatment plan may help improve your child’s development. Autism treatment may include:

  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Special education

Your child may receive these services through the state-sponsored early intervention program or through your local school district.

Autism affects every child differently, but early diagnosis and intervention can improve your child’s challenges. To schedule an autism screening, contact Pediatrics of Long Island by phone or online today.