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Autism

As national leaders since 1998, we are involved in research to identify causes and advance treatments for autism spectrum disorders.

Our state-of-the-art autism facility is dedicated to treatment, education, and research for children, adolescents, young adults and families dealing with autism spectrum disorders. It is uniquely integrated within the healthcare system and housed in the Debra Ann November Wing at Hospital for Rehabilitation Campus.


Autism Details

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder, including:

Individual programs are developed for each child, depending on his or her needs. All programs rely on current autism findings, with a strong focus on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Applied behavior analysis is a science that uses behavioral techniques to teach children basic and complex skills. ABA teaches and reinforces appropriate behavior in children while decreasing or eliminating interfering behavior.

Opportunities for success are built into the program. Adjustments are made as children progress, helping them to function better in the world.

Evaluations are conducted at the Center for Autism through the following Diagnostic Clinics:

Interdisciplinary Evaluation Clinics

Some children may display signs of autism at a very early age. We conduct an interdisciplinary comprehensive evaluation for children up to age 2 years, 11 months to identify those children who show developmental delays and symptoms characteristic of an autism spectrum disorder, or who have failed an autism screening. All children are evaluated by the following health professionals:

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician
  • Neurologist
  • Pediatric Psychologist
  • Speech/Language Pathologist

The evaluation will occur over two days, in sessions of approximately two hours each and consisting of:

  • Developmental assessment
  • Parent interview
  • Physical/genetic screen
  • Speech evaluation

These evaluations take place over the course of two weeks (with a two-hour appointment each week), and parents return the third week for the results of their evaluation. During the sessions, children participate in a comprehensive inter-disciplinary evaluation.

Families receive a comprehensive report and are connected to early intervention treatment. Appropriate referrals for additional services will be made.

View the red flags of developmental delays.

Diagnostic and Treatment Planning Clinic

In this clinic, children age three and older are evaluated by a psychologist to determine if they have an autism spectrum disorder (i.e., Autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS). These evaluations typically take between two and three hours, with a follow-up appointment the following week to review conclusions and recommendations, including appropriate referrals to community resources.

An initial diagnosis or second-opinion includes a 90-120 minute autism evaluation with a psychologist using evidence-based assessment tools and rating forms completed by parents and teachers.

Children age three and older who present with autism or suspected autism, as well as medical concerns (i.e. seizures, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, psychopharmacology are evaluated by a team of professionals in order to determine the most appropriate treatment. There are two inter-disciplinary clinics:

  1. Children presenting with concerns of autism, language deficits and medical concerns of chronic constipation, very limited food preferences and/or medication questions will see a team, which includes a pediatric psychologist, neurodevelopmental pediatrician and speech pathologist.
  2. Children presenting with concerns of autism, language deficits and medical concerns of epilepsy or possible seizures, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, and/or metabolic disorders or children with autism who had significant regression after age three will see a team including a pediatric psychologist, neurologist, speech pathologist and occupational therapist.
Speech/Language Evaluations

The goal of speech/language therapy is to improve communication skills and the social use of language. Children may be taught to use a variety of language skills to express ideas and emotions. These may consist of gestures, eye contact, facial expression, and vocalizations, or the use of communication tools, such as pictures, boards or books. These programs are developed on an individual basis to meet the distinct needs of each child. Therapy may be conducted through our educational programs, as well as through in-home consultation.

To arrange an interdisciplinary evaluation by our clinical team, please contact:
Leslie L. Speer, PhD
Pediatric Psychologist
216.448.6440

To arrange an evaluation through the outpatient speech/language therapy team, please contact:
Heather Sydorwicz, MS, CCC/SLP, BCBA
Coordinator of Speech/Language Services
216.448.6440

Autism Development Solutions

Autism Development Solutions provides customizable consulting services—from assessment and research to the complete formation of a center for autism—to bring world-class, evidence-based autism treatment to your institution and community.

Early childhood education

Infant and Toddler and Preschool Services

Our early childhood program is a full-day, center-based, intensive behavioral program serving children from age of earliest diagnosis through age five. The program focuses on teaching communication, play, socialization, and developmentally appropriate skills. We offer parents a variety of opportunities for coaching, including a lecture series and guided classroom and home visits.

The Center for Autism will be offering an integrated part-time preschool program for children with high functioning autism three full days per week starting in September 2012. The classroom allows for up to 10 children with autism and 5 neuro-typical children. The program will focus on building communication, play, social interaction, and Kindergarten readiness skills.  

Outreach and consultation services

An initial diagnosis or second-opinion includes a 90-120 minute autism evaluation with a psychologist using evidence-based assessment tools and rating forms completed by parents and teachers.

Children age three and older who present with autism or suspected autism, as well as medical concerns (i.e. seizures, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, psychopharmacology are evaluated by a team of professionals in order to determine the most appropriate treatment. There are two inter-disciplinary clinics:

  1. Children presenting with concerns of autism, language deficits and medical concerns of chronic constipation, very limited food preferences and/or medication questions will see a team, which includes a pediatric psychologist, neurodevelopmental pediatrician and speech pathologist.
  2. Children presenting with concerns of autism, language deficits and medical concerns of epilepsy or possible seizures, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, and/or metabolic disorders or children with autism who had significant regression after age three will see a team including a pediatric psychologist, neurologist, speech pathologist and occupational therapist.
Functional behavior assessments

The primary goal for each autistic child is to increase the child’s functioning and independence to the fullest extent possible. The center’s programs are created in consultation with parents, center staff, and autism experts, and are based on an educational and behavioral philosophy that focuses on the individual needs of each student.

All aspects of life are aggressively targeted, including:

  • Academic skills
  • Adaptive life skills
  • Behavior
  • Communication
  • Leisure/physical activity
  • Pre-vocational/vocational skills
  • Socialization
  • Transition to adulthood
Lerner School for Autism

The state-of-the-art Lerner School for Autism is the centerpiece of the 20,000-square-foot Debra Ann November Wing at our Hospital for Rehabilitation Campus. This chartered, non-public day school, certified by the state of Ohio, serves students from diagnosis to age 22. Staff includes:

  • Board-certified behavior analysts
  • Certified intervention specialists
  • Classroom behavior therapists
  • Pediatric psychologists
  • Speech/language pathologists

Our educational program emphasizes research-supported autism intervention, based on the philosophy and interventional techniques of ABA. The Lerner School provides:

  • Full-day, year-round program
  • Highly individualized programs
  • Low student-to-staff ratio
  • Strong parental involvement
  • Tiered levels of instruction
Social SPIES Program

We offer formal training on social thinking concepts for children with high functioning Autism/Asperger’s Disorder. There are three major components to this program:

  1. Social skills training occurring during the school year. Children meet once per week for 20 weeks to learn social thinking concepts leading to friendship development.
  2. Summer treatment at a local inclusive camp. After receiving the social skills training, children are paired with a behavioral coach and attend a summer camp for 6 weeks in order to generalize their skills into a more natural setting.
  3. Parent therapeutic/training groups. While children attend their groups, parents also attend a group. Parents attend 22 training sessions from October-July. Group sessions teach parents ways to increase generalization of their child’s targeted skills in the home and community setting. Parents learned the necessary skills to maintain behavioral change in their child(ren).

Children typically sign up for the program during the summer, with the program beginning in the fall and lasting for 10 months. Children who have successfully completed the first three components of the program may be eligible to participate in 2 or 3 booster sessions the following school year.

Training for parents and siblings

Family Education

We offer free of charge, a resource guide “Ohio’s Providers and Programs for Children with Autism.” The guide offers up-to-date options for diagnostics, treatment, auxiliary services, education, medical services, funding and much more.

Reserve your copy now

Home-based programs

The infant/toddler (ages 0 to 3 years) program offers a combination of in-home and center-based therapy. Its focus is on communication, behavior, play, socialization and developmentally appropriate skill acquisition.

Parent Group Therapy

Dr. Thomas Frazier, II provides parents with up-to-date information on ASD, emphasizing associated problems and treatment. The group also provides a supportive environment for parents of newly diagnosed children or parents who are now re-accessing state of the art services for their children with ASD.

Workshops

Our workshops cover a variety of topics including toilet training, basics of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and others. Workshops are held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Hospital for Rehabilitation Campus in the Debra Ann November Wing.

Register for workshops via the workshops page.

Register Now

The Autism Research Program works to improve understanding, education and treatment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).


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Results: 3 Doctors

 

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Thomas Frazier, II, PhD
 

Thomas Frazier, II, PhD

Frazier, II, Thomas, PhD
216.448.6440

Location(s): Childrens Hospital for Rehabilitation, Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

Department: Center for Autism

Specialties: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, Behavioral Health Services For Children & Adolescent, Behavioral Intervention, Consultation/treatment Planning, Evaluation Of Autism Spectrum Disorders more

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: Cleveland Clinic

 
Leslie Markowitz, PsyD
 

Leslie Markowitz, PsyD

Markowitz, Leslie, PsyD
216.448.6440

Location(s): Childrens Hospital for Rehabilitation

Department: Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Specialties: Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Developmental Disabilities, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD), 2nd Opinion Evaluations, Behavioral Health Services For Children & Adolescent, Consultation/treatment Planning more

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

 
Leslie Speer, PhD
 

Leslie Speer, PhD

Speer, Leslie, PhD
216.448.6440

Location(s): Childrens Hospital for Rehabilitation

Department: Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Specialties: Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD), 2nd Opinion Evaluations, Behavioral Health Services For Children & Adolescent, Consultation/treatment Planning, Evaluation Of Autism Spectrum Disorders more

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: University of Utah

 
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Information and Appointments

Child and adolescent patients come to Cleveland Clinic Children’s from all over the world for care.

Cleveland Clinic Children's
Center for Autism

2801 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
Cleveland, Ohio 44104

Additional Information

Free Autism Resource Guide Sign Up

This 200-page comprehensive Autism Guide breaks out participating services and organizations by county within the state of Ohio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to questions about our autism services and programs.

Autism Diagnosis and Treatment

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