In addition to evaluating, diagnosing and creating treatment plans for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the Autism Integrated Care Program at CHOP:
- Creates a positive hospital experience for children with ASD and their families
- Offers specialty care and interventions for children with ASD
- Provides resources for families, primary care physicians and community providers
- Conducts cutting-edge research into the cause, developmental course and treatments of ASD
Our ASD experts
Our team of diagnostic experts includes developmental and behavioral pediatricians, neurologists, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and psychologists. Your child's care team may also include social workers, behavior therapists, occupational therapists, and/or speech therapists.
All of our providers specialize in evaluating and caring for children with autism spectrum disorders and are skilled in distinguishing ASD from other conditions to help make an accurate diagnosis for your child.
Integrated outpatient services for children with ASD
Many children with ASD have associated issues that require careful diagnosis, or additional medical and behavioral issues that change over time. The Autism Integrated Care Program will connect your child with the CHOP specialists who have expertise in his specific healthcare need, and help to coordinate all the care he receives at CHOP.
We commonly refer patients with ASD to experts in these specialties:
- The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences team can help with medication management and any psychiatric concerns.
- The Neurology team can help with medication management. These experts have the advanced training to address your child's seizures, tics, headaches, staring spells, and any other neurological concerns you might have.
- The Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center is staffed by therapists who use behavioral techniques to help address feeding problems that many children with ASD might face. They have expertise in therapy for children who are picky eaters; children who will only eat specific brands, types, colors, or textures of food; children who have difficulty chewing and swallowing; and much more.
- The Sleep Center can be very helpful for children with ASD who have difficulty sleeping, or who experience disturbances like night terrors, waking up repeatedly, or waking up early.
- The Division of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology offers genetic evaluation and testing, including chromosomal microarray and fragile X testing, which are recommended for children diagnosed with ASD.
- The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition can help children with ASD who also have GI issues. Our GI experts offer services in general diagnostic gastroenterology, failure to thrive, feeding and swallowing, IBD, constipation and nutrition.
- The Speech-Language Pathology team treats the speech, language, cognitive communication, voice, swallowing and stuttering problems that affect many children with ASD.
- The Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy teams can help children with ASD who have trouble learning skills of independence, who show delays in motor development, or who have difficulty with sensory processing (being too sensitive to noise, textures, or movement, or not sensitive enough to things happening around them).
The Center for Autism Research (CAR)
The Center for Autism Research (CAR) is a multidisciplinary center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania that coordinates and supports research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). CAR's goals are to identify the neurobiological, environmental, and genetic causes of ASD, and to develop effective treatments.
CAR conducted more than 250 research evaluations in 2012. CAR currently has more than 13 active research studies. Since becoming a Center of Emphasis in 2008, CAR has made breakthrough discoveries in genetics and brain imaging and is developing and testing new autism interventions, including computer games designed to improve social skills. More than 2,000 people have signed up for autismMatch, a research registry connecting families to autism research studies.