In order to fight all aspects of Autism, it’s important to put together a comprehensive team of doctors, therapists, and medical professionals. Depending on your child’s symptoms, some of these specialties may be more important then others.
Pediatrician – your primary care physician will likely be your first point of contact when determining if your child is showing the symptoms of autism. Your pediatrician will likely point you to one of the specialist listed below to treat your child’s most aggressive symptoms. It’s always a good idea to keep your pediatrician in the loop regarding your child’s treatment plan.
MAPS doctor – Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) doctors specialize in medical issues commonly found in individuals with autism and related chronic conditions. Although much of the focus will be on autism, MAPS doctors will deal with all things pediatric, including allergies, asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, immune dysfunction, and more. Your MAPS doctor will quarterback your child’s treatment plan.
Neurologist – A neurologist treats disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. If your child suffers from seizures disorders, such as epilepsy, or has speech/language disorders seeking out a neurologist is going to be on your list.
Gastroenterologist – Gastroenterology is the study of the normal function and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver. Many kids with autism face serious stomach issues, many of which can be treated.
Immunologist/Allergist – Allergist will perform testing to determine what food sensitivities your child suffers from. Many kids with autism will benefit from a gluten free and dairy free diet, but it’s important to meet with an allergist to identify your child’s problem foods.