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Autism Specialist

Houston Specialty Clinic

Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Pulmonary, and Sleep Medicine located in Houston, Sugar Land, and Katy, TX

About 1 in 6 children ages 3-17 has one or more developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder. Lead by neurologist Joshua Rotenberg, MD, Shamile Morgan MC, Kara Schmidt PA-RD treat infants, children and teens with autism and other developmental disabilities. We offer the ADOS and other developmental tests to facilitate diagnosis.If you think your child has developmental disorder, call today.

Autism Q & A

What is autism?

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates, interacts, and behaves. Symptoms start in early childhood and even in infancy. The type and severity of symptoms in people with autism varies widely, since there are many causes. Some causes are medically actionable. 

Some children suffer a regression in development and they deserve rapid evaluation including EEG and other testing. Your physician can contact our office for an expedited evaluation. 

Children with developmental disabilities are more likely to suffer from  other health conditions, such as sleep problems. About 80% of children with autism suffer from autism, impacting their development and their family functioning. 

How do I know if my child has autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder because symptoms usually appear in a child’s first two years of life, but a diagnosis can occur at any age. Common symptoms of autism include:


  • Poor eye contact
  • Difficulty relating to others or showing no interest in people at all
  • Not looking at objects when someone points to them
  • Failure to respond to someone calling their name
  • Not pointing to objects to show interest
  • Not wanting to be held or cuddled
  • Repeating or echoing words or phrases said to them
  • Difficulty expressing needs using typical words or motions
  • Trouble adapting to a change of routine
  • Having facial expressions or gestures that aren’t appropriate for what’s being said
  • Speaking with a sing-song voice or robot-like tone


Older children with autism may have trouble with back-and-forth conversation. They may talk for long periods about a favorite subject without giving others an opportunity to respond. 


How is autism diagnosed and treated?

Your primary pediatrician should screen for developmental disabilities at well-child visits during your child’s first two years. While some symptoms are noted in infancy, pediatricians screen for autism starting  at the 18- and 24-month visits. 

If they think your child is at high risk for autism or another type of developmental disability, they may refer you to Dr. Rotenberg at Houston Specialty Clinic for a comprehensive evaluation. 

After he confirms a diagnosis, Dr. Rotenberg creates a personalized treatment plan. Specialized testing including EEG and genetic testing may be indicated. Depending on your child’s specific needs, treatment may include behavioral, psychological, and educational therapy. He may also use medications to relieve severe symptoms.

For expertise in autism evaluation and treatment, call Houston Specialty Clinic today. 

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