A pediatrician will refer the caregiver and the child to a specialist in developmental disorders for the assessment. Some people may want to have this specialist treat their child's condition, but they are free to seek treatment elsewhere. There is no standard treatment for autism, and different professionals have different philosophies and practices in caring for their patients. You may want to talk to more than one specialist to find the one with whom you feel most comfortable. Ask family members, friends, and the health care provider to get referrals. Call autism groups or check the Internet for referral services.
- When seeking a specialist to treat a child's autism, the opportunity should be available to ask questions and discuss the treatments available to the child. Be aware of all the options so that an informed decision can be made.
- A reputable specialist will present each type of treatment, give the pros and cons, and make recommendations based on published treatment guidelines and his or her own experience.
- The decision of which treatment to pursue is made with this specialist (with input from other members of the care team) and family members, but the decision is ultimately the parents'.
- Be certain it is understand exactly what will be done and why, and what can be expected from the choices.