Monday, April 6, 2009

Dr. Mark Freilich: Finding the Right Therapeutic Program for Your Child

Dr. Mark Freilich spoke about how the basis for many autistic presentations are sensory processing problems and regulation problems. Although diagnosis are helpful for getting support services for your child, by having someone look at the child in different settings, often a more specific and successful program of intervention can be implemented. He explained that seeing the child in natural settings (school and home etc.) allows the developmental pediatrician to get a picture of the whole child. With this type of evaluation the developmental pediatrician can look at areas of strength as well as weakness, tell if there is a good or bad fit (between parent/child and teacher/child), and put together a treatment plan that will allow the child to get better over time. Prioritizing short and long term goals and developing what your child is capable of were also things he liked to address in his evaluations. Helping kids recover from their symptoms--rather than finding a "cure" was one topic that came up. And recognizing that the child is a moving target and often the developmental diagnosis will change over time and treatment plans also need to be adjusted was another topic. Dr. Freilich brought an ABA therapist, Tia Marie Smith, and a floortime therapist, Beth Kastner, to explain the difference between ABA and floortime approach.

Mark Freilich, MD
Developmental Pediatrician

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