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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental condition that impacts how a person communicates, behaves, interacts with others and learns. ASD impacts the structure and function of the brain and nervous system.

People with ASD often have targeted interests and repetitive behaviors.

Symptoms usually appear early in childhood, often between the ages of 12 and 18 months. Most children are diagnosed around age 3. Sometimes, your child may regress and stop using the language, social and playing skills he or she already learned.

Autism spectrum disorder affects one in 68 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is five times more common in boys.

Autism affects different people in different ways, covering a range of similar features. It is pervasive, meaning symptoms last a lifetime. In the past, groups of autistic symptoms were given specific names: Asperger’s syndrome, autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder. Now, all types of symptom severity fall under the autism spectrum disorder label.

Your child may show these early signs of autism spectrum disorder:

  • Problems making eye contact
  • Not responding when his or her name is called
  • Poor pretend play and imitation skills
  • Problems with nonverbal communication

Older children and adults with autism spectrum disorder may also experience anxiety and depression

At Indiana University Health, we work with you and your child to combat the effects of autism spectrum disorders, to find ways to embrace your child’s full potential and to deliver support and guidance in seeking the best therapy and school programs to positively enforce your child’s success. 

Our autism spectrum disorder experts provide psychiatric and psychological counseling, medicines and therapies to assist you and your child in achieving specific goals.

Our professionals teach you and your child skills to fully function at school, at home and in the community. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents social, communication and behavioral challenges, but affects everyone differently. We work with you and your child on specific skills and strategies, and we connect you with parent advocates and other support services.

High-functioning adults not diagnosed earlier in life often seek help in adulthood. Children with ASD symptoms may not be diagnosed until their early teenage years. Such situations can be frustrating and lead to behavioral issues and feelings of anger, anxiety and depression because they are living in a world they do not understand. You or your child may not comprehend figures of speech, or facial expressions may not match your speech and emotions.

We can treat autism spectrum disorders at any stage of life. Social and communication skills can be taught to improve interactions with others. 

Our ties to Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health let us deliver the most current and accurate information to you. Additionally, our affiliation with the Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center gives us access to the latest research in autism treatments, including medicine management, parent training and available medicines.

We are also leading mental health experts in new research. Our work with four other research units in pediatric psychopharmacology led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a drug to treat irritability associated with autism.

Our connection with HANDS in Autism extends our reach into the community, by delivering training and services to school and medical staff, caregivers and individuals on the autism spectrum.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment Information

IU Health physicians and counselors use a multidisciplinary approach that combines therapies, medicines and parent training to help you or your child live with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Locations & Physicians

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Find a Specialist

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Services

Learn more about autism spectrum disorder treatments at these websites: