LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Autism Speaks recently hosted a networking event for health care providers and community leaders from throughout Los Angeles who work with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Held at The Saban Research Institute, the event was an opportunity to celebrate three years of partnership through the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network and the organizations’ efforts to improve the lives of families impacted by ASD.
“The Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network model of care creates one central place that families can go to access the care they need.”
“Autism creates lost families – lost to hours on the phone trying to identify service providers, lost to hours on the freeway traveling from an OT appointment on one side of the city to an appointment with a GI doctor on the other side of town,” says Matt Asner, Autism Speaks’ Executive Director for Southern California. “The Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network model of care creates one central place that families can go to access the care they need.” The network, which includes 17 leading sites in North America, works to establish best practices for the treatment of children with ASD and ensure that all families have access to high-quality services.
“Best practice is for providers to meet with children and their families in one central location and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been driving this approach,” says Brent Polk, MD, director of The Saban Research Institute and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “Our Institute for the Developing Mind also extends this interdisciplinary model into translational research on neurodevelopmental issues.”
The Boone Fetter Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles implements this team-based approach by providing interdisciplinary neurodevelopmental and behavioral assessments by a team of experts, including developmental-behavioral pediatricians, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and child psychologists. The team, able to talk with families in either English or Spanish, takes the time to get to know the family, listen to their concerns, and fully understand the child’s strengths and challenges.
“The team discusses their observations and jointly develops an integrated treatment plan,” says Michele Kipke, PhD, principal investigator of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network site at Children’s Hospital. “When a child receives an ASD diagnosis, the parents receive a roadmap of services that are unique to their child’s needs.” Because children with ASD often have co-occurring medical conditions, this may include coordinating care with specialists throughout the hospital, such as sleep specialists, neurologists, medical geneticists, experts in metabolic diseases, and gastroenterologists.
Autism Speaks is now focused on expanding the reach of the Autism Treatment Network by working with local health care providers to be better able to deliver high-quality coordinated care to their patients with ASD. “We need to increase awareness about autism spectrum disorder so that families and providers know what can and must be done to help children on the spectrum achieve their fullest potential,” said Arnie Kleiner, president and general manager of KABC-TV. Mr. Kleiner is a member of the Board of Trustees of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles chapter of Autism Speaks.
In addition to Asner, Polk, and Kipke, speakers at the event also included Larry Yin, MD and Kathi Smith, RN, DrPH, both of the Boone Fetter Clinic, and Pat Levitt, PhD, of the Institute for the Developing Mind.
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious US News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States, is one of America's premier teaching hospitals and has been affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932.