As research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to advance, many clinicians are incorporating a multidisciplinary approach to autism treatment — including evaluations and diagnoses. A multidisciplinary approach can both expedite and ease the evaluation process, after all. It can also provide families of children diagnosed with autism with a helpful range of resources they can pursue.
Searching for a multidisciplinary approach to autism treatment in California? Call Opya at (650) 931-6300 or reach out to our team online.
What Is a Multidisciplinary Approach to Autism Treatment?
A multidisciplinary approach to autism treatment employs data relevant to multiple disciplines to achieve an in-depth understanding of a case of autism. This understanding makes it easier to create an effective autism treatment plan for a child diagnosed with autism. The importance of multidisciplinary assessment shouldn’t be ignored, either. An interdisciplinary strategy can make it easier to assess and understand cases of autism that may be unusual or different from what’s typical.
Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) are usually made of professionals from various disciplines. These experts work together to formulate a treatment plan for children diagnosed with autism who may have complex care needs. MDTs have access to a range of healthcare, social care, and other community services and a wide range of knowledge. This makes these teams ideal for creating autism treatment plans for children that are both customized and comprehensive. While, of course, there is no established cure for autism, this type of approach to treatment can significantly improve the quality of life of any child diagnosed with autism.
What’s the Importance of Multidisciplinary Assessment?
A multidisciplinary approach to autism treatment must always go with a multidisciplinary assessment. An assessment using this particular approach helps avoid using a singular treatment plan for all children diagnosed with autism. This strategy acknowledges the unique requirements of children diagnosed with autism and caters to them accordingly.
Some disciplines included in the multidisciplinary assessment include the following:
- Communication: Speech and language are considered elements that need to be assessed by subjective measures and standard testing. Language assessment for children diagnosed with autism should be derived from multiple sources, including direct standardized assessments, natural language samples, and parent reporting.
- Psychiatry: A psychiatric assessment particularly considers the developmental perspective of a child’s growth. It considers the behavioral, cognitive, emotional, language, neurological, physical, and social deficits of a child diagnosed with autism. Several elements — such as play assessment with the child — are involved in a comprehensive mental health assessment.
- Psychology: Psychologists measure a child’s level of cognitive functioning — otherwise known as their IQ — and carry out assessments for anxiety, depression, and other possible comorbid conditions. Like many clinicians on a multidisciplinary team (MDT), psychologists also run assessments to determine an ASD diagnosis.
When Should You Consider a Multidisciplinary Approach for Autism Treatment?
Yes, you should consider a multidisciplinary approach to autism treatment. The most effective autism treatments available today often consist of many components — so your child diagnosed with autism may already benefit from a multidisciplinary approach. Many autism treatments combine some or all of the following:
- Applied behavioral analysis (ABA)
- Occupational therapy
- Pharmacological therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
However, just because your child’s autism treatment plan has many components doesn’t mean that the team that put it together used a multidisciplinary approach. It’s worth mentioning your consideration of this particular approach to your child’s treatment team if they haven’t specifically mentioned that their approach is multidisciplinary.
Ready To Learn More About Opya’s Multidisciplinary Approach to Autism Treatment?
If you’re looking for a multidisciplinary approach to autism treatment in California, call Opya at (650) 931-6300 today. You can also reach out to our team online.