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Autism Services


Autism Services at St. Mary's Center for Children

St. Mary's has an award winning autism program. Watch the video for more information.
Our autism program uses
a team approach. This
video explains.

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.

At St. Mary’s Center for Children in Evansville, our award-winning autism program - Collaborative Autism and Related Disorders Services or C.A.R.D.S. - uses a team approach to provide personalized autism assessment and treatment plans for children ages 2 to 5 who show signs of an autism spectrum disorder. We work with the nationally-recognized Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center at the University of Louisville and the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center to help children and their caregivers improve the child's adaptive, social and academic skills.

Autism Partnership Offers World-Class Care

Our highly experienced autism team works with the nationally-recognized Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center at the University of Louisville and the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center to help children and their caregivers improve the child's adaptive, social and academic skills.  The program is led by Dr. James Schroeder, who specializes in the evaluation of autism spectrum, learning and attention deficit concerns.

Autism Symptoms

According to the National Institutes of Health, children with autism typically have difficulties in:

  • Pretend play
  • Social interactions
  • Verbal and nonverbal communication

People with autism may:

  • Be overly sensitive in sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste
  • Have unusual distress when routines are changed
  • Perform repeated body movements
  • Show unusual attachments to objects

Other issues associated with autism:

Communication:

  • Cannot start or maintain a social conversation
  • Communicates with gestures instead of words
  • Develops language slowly or not at all
  • Does not adjust gaze to look at objects that others are looking at
  • Does not refer to self correctly (for example, says "you want water" when the child means "I want water")
  • Does not point to direct others' attention to objects
  • Repeats words or memorized passages, such as commercials
  • Uses nonsense rhyming

Social interaction:

  • Does not make friends
  • Does not play interactive games
  • Is withdrawn
  • May not respond to eye contact or smiles, or may avoid eye contact
  • May treat others as if they are objects
  • Prefers to spend time alone, rather than with others
  • Shows a lack of empathy

Response to sensory information:

  • Does not startle at loud noises
  • Has heightened or low senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste
  • May find normal noises painful and hold hands over ears
  • May withdraw from physical contact because it is overstimulating or overwhelming
  • Rubs surfaces, mouths or licks objects
  • Seems to have a heightened or low response to pain

Play:

  • Doesn't imitate the actions of others
  • Prefers solitary or ritualistic play
  • Shows little pretend or imaginative play

Behaviors:

  • "Acts up" with intense tantrums
  • Gets stuck on a single topic or task (perseveration)
  • Has a short attention span
  • Has very narrow interests
  • Is overactive or very passive
  • Shows aggression to others or self
  • Shows a strong need for sameness
  • Uses repetitive body movements

Learn More About Autism Services at St. Mary's

For more information about our award-winning autism program, and all of our comprehensive children's healthcare services, please call the St. Mary's Center for Children at (812) 485-7425.

Also see:

 

 

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