A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog on general tips to help children with autism feel comfortable at a doctor’s office. We mentioned finding a doctor who has specific practices for children with autism but didn’t go too in-depth.
This week, we want to focus on finding a great pediatrician for autistic children. This includes where to look, what to ask, and what to do before scheduling your first appointment.
How to Find A Pediatrician who Works with Children with Autism
Our previous article mentioned searching online for pediatricians who work with or specialize in children with autism. This is the best step to finding a large list of doctors who can help children with autism. To narrow down a search, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also has a searchable list to find pediatric specialists.
The AAP also notes looking for doctors with the initials FAAP after their name. This indicates they are board-certified members of the AAP which entail:
- Members (fellows) of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- Committed to lifelong learning.
- Advocates for children and families.
- Up to date on the latest in child health.
The last 3 are especially important for children with autism, as new information is entering the field at a rapid pace. Be sure to find a doctor who is FAAP certified.
Questions to Ask a Pediatrician’s Office
Before scheduling an appointment with any pediatrician, you’ll want to have some important questions answered. Examples of questions to ask a potential pediatrician’s office include:
- Do they have experience with patients diagnosed with autism?
- Does the pediatrician have any specialties related to autism or ASD?
- Are there any special practices or procedures in place for autistic children?
- Is the office friendly to autistic children?
- Are there any special accommodations for autistic children?
If a potential pediatrician doesn’t answer your questions satisfactorily, be sure to ask the receptionist about other doctors that may help. Many doctors’ offices are part of a larger network and a simple referral could end your search on the spot!
Developmental pediatricians are becoming more prevalent. Also called ‘pediatricians for autism,’ developmental pediatricians specialize in children with developmental issues. Developmental pediatricians can help create a comprehensive care plan for your child, one that is created specifically for their unique development.
The offices and practices of developmental pediatricians are often catered toward children with autism. This can include things like office structure, decorations, toys/activities in the waiting area, appointment procedures, and more.
While they are often the best choice, developmental pediatricians can be hard to find in some less-populated areas. Be sure to call any developmental pediatricians you are considering taking your child to as soon as possible. Like all specialists, developmental pediatricians are often booked weeks or months in advance.
ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants
If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans to use ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.