A reclassification of autism could be on the horizon which has some experts in the field worried about those suffering from various levels of the disorder. Dr. Robert Brooks of Harvard Medical School who co-wrote the book Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders sat down with NJToday Managing Editor Mike Schneider to discuss the possible impact of a reclassification and what parents with autistic children can do for them.
Brooks said the redefinition can make it more difficult for families to receive services, but he also stressed that there is action that can be taken to help autistic children’s development, whether or not there is a formal diagnosis.
“Early intervention is critical,” Brooks said when it comes to diagnosing children on the autism spectrum. He said pediatricians should be able to help parents evaluate symptoms they might notice, including poor language development and social skills.
He said that parents can use their autistic children’s interests to help them improve. Brooks said he worked with a boy who loved baseball statistics. The boy’s father used that passion to connect with his son, getting baseball cards and taking him to baseball games.
Brooks prefers a whole team approach when working with children on the autism spectrum, which involves parents, teachers and specialists. “You’re going to have the best result,” he said.