Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has affected a large population of children in America and other countries. Pediatricians are faced with the job of providing proper treatment and care to such children to help them cope up with their challenges and thrive. To offer quality care and treatment to autistic children, pediatricians need to equip themselves with in-depth and up to date knowledge about ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. MAPS pediatric courses, offered by the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs, are specially designed to prepare doctors and pediatricians provide superior care to children with autism.
If you are a pediatrician, you can gain valuable knowledge by enrolling in MAPS pediatric courses. Below are the things about which you can get education and knowledge by joining such a course:
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to several developmental disorders characterized by:
- Problems in social interaction and social communication in various settings
- Reluctant to any changes in daily routines and/or repetitive behaviors
- Symptoms starting in early childhood, generally within 2 years of age
- Symptoms causing the person to require the help of others in his/her daily life
What are the symptoms and signs of ASD?
Below are the symptoms of ASD. Everyone with ASD may not show all these symptoms, but most people would show several of them.
- Having unusual behaviors or repetition of certain behaviors
- Having greatly focused interests, like with parts of objects or moving things
- Having an extreme, lasting interest in particular topics, like facts, details or numbers
- Becoming upset by slight changes in routine or being placed within an overstimulating or new setting
- Making inconsistent or little eye contact
- Less tendency to listen to and look at people within their environment
- Rarely wanting to share enjoyment of activities or objects by showing or pointing things to others
- Responding unusually when anger, affection, or distress is shown by others
- Being slow at or failing to respond to name and/or other verbal attempts made to seek their attention
People affected by ASD may face other troubles too, like sleep problems, irritability, digestion problems, and sensory sensitivity (sensitivity to temperature, textures of clothing, noise or light).
People affected by ASD may also possess several abilities and strengths, like:
Having an above-average level of intelligence
Having the ability to learn things in a detailed manner, and remember details and information for long time periods
Being strong auditory and visual learners
Being excellent in art, music, science, and math
How are children with ASD tested and evaluated?
As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should be screened with standardized tests at the age of 9, 18, 24, and 30 months. Some examples of such tests are Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), and Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT).
It’s recommended that a child should be referred to a neuropsychologist for formal tests and examinations of cognitive level (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children), evaluation of behaviors related to autism (Childhood Autism Rating Scale or Gilliam Autism Rating Scale), and assessing adaptive functioning (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale). MAPS pediatric courses offer a detailed explanation of all kinds of tests used to screen and examine children for autism.
These examinations and tests are essential to determine the comorbid conditions and intellectual skills and abilities of a child. The results of these tests will help guide placement in school for maximizing the potential of the child. They will also provide a realistic prognosis to caregivers. However, the abilities and skills of a child may vary over time and interim analysis may help in guiding the family.
Apart from these areas, MAPS pediatric courses provides education and knowledge to pediatricians on several other valuable areas in the field of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. If you want to stay updated in the realm of developmental problems faced by children, MAPS pediatric courses can prove to be highly helpful for you.