KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The numbers are staggering: one in 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder.

These are the statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Autism is not a simple diagnosis to make – in fact it is quite complex and requires expert analysis and evaluation.

It is extremely important that the proper diagnosis is made so that treatment can be provided in a timely and well monitored fashion, but experts working with the Devereux Autism Assessment Center say that it is equally important to make certain the dagnosis is a proper one. The model that they use is one that is becoming more widely used in the treatment community: a great deal of attention is being paid to the diagnosis but the follow up treatment and supportive care is emphasized as well.

One-on-one work with families is best if it is possible.

Another key step is to make sure families are aware of resources in the community and this is where social workers can be a big help. The more we learn about autism, the more we realize that it is a complex condition and a long term battle.