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Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder

Key Points about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Children

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain-based disorder with a strong genetic component.
  • There is no specific medical test to diagnose ASD.
  • ASD is characterized along a spectrum, meaning that there is a wide variety of ways in which autistic traits may manifest in different individuals.
  • ASD is found in children of all racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. It occurs in both boys and girls, but is more common in boys.
  • The first signs of ASD are often seen between the ages of 12 and 24 months, but many children may not show clear signs until much later.
  • Early identification and intensive intervention can have a significant impact on future academic, behavioral and adaptive success.
  • Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National Hospital and the hospital-based Autism Behavioral Consult team provide services to support the growth and development of your child with autism spectrum disorder. 
  • The visual supports and resources offered by the Autism Behavioral Consult team at Children's National help medical staff and parents to make procedures and treatments easier for children with communication, sensory or behavioral disabilities.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is autism spectrum disorder?

What causes autism?

What are the common challenges of autism spectrum disorder?

What are the common strengths of autism spectrum disorder?

How is autism spectrum disorder diagnosed?

How is autism spectrum disorder treated?

How can ASD families live their best lives?

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Autism Treatment at Children's National Hospital

The experts at Children's National focus on the strengths of all children with autism spectrum disorders to help them lead successful and healthy lives. Discover more about the evaluations and treatments we offer.

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Providers Who Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder

Departments that Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder


Children's National Hospital has some of the world's foremost experts in care for children with complex neurodevelopmental disorders affecting the brain and central nervous system.

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Psychology and Behavioral Health

In the Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health, our child psychologists and other mental health professionals work exclusively with children and teens, emphasizing patient and family-focused care.

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Our pediatric neuroscience team is the largest in the country, allowing us to offer our vast experience to patients and families.