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Autism

Among the highly specialized services offered by The Division of Child Neurology at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) is the Center for Excellence in Autism. Among autism centers in the greater New York area, its unique focus is to provide effective social skills interventions for children on the autistic spectrum.

Highly specialized diagnosis and treatment

Children referred to the Autism Center for diagnosis and treatment benefit from the vast clinical and research experience of a medical and neuropsychological team with more than a quarter century of experience in evaluating and treating children with autism who have a wide range of language and learning disabilities, and infants and children with epilepsy.  Because of our expertise we often receive referrals for children with troublesome problems getting along in school and at home.

Many children are referred to us because they are experiencing delayed language or language regression. Child neurologists at the Autism Center have been investigating language regression for many years in order to develop more effective treatments for toddlers and children with this poorly understood problem. The severity of autism, also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or the autistic spectrum, varies a great deal. Autism is a lifelong disorder which may improve considerably with effective early intervention and maturation. It impacts:

  • Sociability and empathy
  • Language and communication
  • Imagination and play 

Children with autism often have other problems:

  • Rigidity
  • Obsessions
  • Repetitive movements
  • Narrow range of interests and activities

Expertise in diagnosis and research, innovative intervention

It is now known that perhaps 1/1000 babies is born with or will develop classic autism. There is no medical test to diagnose autism, which has many causes. Its diagnosis is behaviorally based and overlaps with several other developmental disorders, especially inadequate language, epilepsy, attention problems, and sensorimotor abnormalities. These overlaps are confusing and complicate diagnosis and treatment decisions. Our doctors' long-standing collaboration in interdisciplinary research on autistic spectrum disorders means that they can offer children of all ages and their parents accurate and sophisticated advice on diagnosis and necessary testing, and rational individualized treatment options. Our expert child neurologists, psychiatrist, developmental pediatricians, and geneticists are supported by a team of nurses, other professionals and therapists who participate in both research and management decisions. 

Our neuropsychologic team is specialized in testing children with autism and shares its expertise in social skills education of children and their parents with school systems, where it works with teachers. Its goal is to provide teachers with novel tools for educating all the children, handicapped or not, in better ways to interact with one another. 

Empowering participation of families and their communities

Our commitment to caring, family-centered care means that we empower patients and caregivers through treatment and education. We are currently developing a groundbreaking program for autistic children based on the importance of intensive early educational intervention. We plan to reach out to an increasing number of area school districts and develop relationships that will allow more patients to join the regular school population and have the highest quality of life possible.

Contact information - Autism

The Children's Hospital at Montefiore
3415 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, NY 10467

Patient Appointments: 718-741-2450
Directions to CHAM

Main Number: 718-741-2426