KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

What type of doctors treat autism?

Autism consists of a large team consisting of psychologist, who first come in and diagnose your child's Autism. I think it's important to have somebody that you really trust that can come in to look at your entire team to make sure all of the pieces are in place. Part of that team consists of speech and language pathologists, who work on the receptive and expressive language, as well as pragmatics. You have occupational therapists, who work on the fine motor skills of the child; the gross motor, as well as if they have any difficulties with sensory. There's a behavioral therapist. A behavioral therapist comes in and does a functional analysis of behavior. Works on the child's behavior and, also, some cognition and social communication. Then there is floor time therapists who work on the play skills. Then also, sometimes, an MD or a DAN doctor is on board, who can prescribe traditional medication. Some parents opt for a DAN doctor, which stands for "defeat Autism now." Those type of doctors look more at diet and vitamins. So they might be on a gluten-free, casein free diet, or they might be on a specific carbohydrate diet. They might be on specific vitamins and they run different blood tests. Depending on what you, as a parent, choose; that's the type of doctor you might choose.

Sarah Clifford Scheflen, Speech Language Pathologist, explains the different types of doctors and specialists that treat autism.


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Sarah Clifford Scheflen, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Sarah Cilfford Scheflen, MS, CCC-SLP is a pediatric clinical speech–language pathologist who specializes in working with children with autism and other developmental disorders. She works exclusively with children, primarily between the ages of 12 months to eight years.

Sarah is the founder of Scheflen Speech–Language Pathology, Inc., her private practice in Santa Monica, California, as well as the co-founder (together with autism advocate Jenny McCarthy) of Teach2Talk, LLC, a producer of quality educational products including video–modeling DVDs that teach children a variety of skills including appropriate behavior, social skills, play and language. 

She is also the senior speech–language pathologist on staff at an intensive partial–hospitalization program for autism located at a major public research university located in Los Angeles, California, where Sarah has provided therapy to hundreds of children with autism spectrum disorders and conducted research into various treatment modalities. 

Sarah is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer, and her research focuses on teaching play, social skills and language to children through video modeling.

More Parenting Videos from Sarah Clifford Scheflen, MS, CCC-SLP >