Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Narmin Aliji, M.D. -  - Adult and Child Psychiatrist

360 Psychiatry

Narmin Aliji, M.D.

Adult and Child Psychiatrist located in Santa Monica, CA

With recent data showing higher estimates of children suffering from autism, the need for comprehensive treatment plans with a specialist becomes clear. Dr. Narmin Aliji of 360 Psychiatry in Santa Monica, California, has fellowship training working with children, many of whom are on the autism spectrum. To learn more or seek treatment, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Q & A

What is autism spectrum disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition that affects brain development. Specifically, it affects how a child socializes with others. This disorder is diverse, so its effects vary from person to person. It generally begins in early childhood and leads to a lifetime of socialization concerns.

Children with autism have difficulty with social interactions and communication, as well as repetitive or restricted patterns of behavior and movements. There may be behavior problems both at home and in school, including acting out, defiance, aggression. For others, the symptoms of the condition are more subtle.

What causes autism?

It's unclear why some children are prone to autism while others aren’t. It's a complex condition, but current theories support both genetic and environmental factors as contributing to autism. It’s believed that autism may be associated with certain genetic conditions such as Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome.

Is autism caused by vaccines?

There’s no proven link between autism spectrum disorder and the vaccines children get as babies. At one point, a theory existed that the thimerosal in MMR vaccines, a compound that includes trace amounts of mercury, was the root cause of the condition, but this was unfounded. Not having a child vaccinated puts them at risk for serious contagious conditions such as measles, mumps and whooping cough.

What are the symptoms of autism?

Children on the spectrum seem to develop a diverse and unique set of symptoms. There are usually changes in patterns of behavior, but they’re not the same from patient to patient. There are different levels of severity, as well. Some common symptoms include:

  • Resists cuddling
  • Doesn't respond to their name
  • Fails to speak or delayed speech
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Is inappropriate in a social setting
  • Performs repetitive movements like spinning or hand flapping
  • Has unusual food preferences and digestive issues