I was fortunate yesterday to hear Dr. Matthew Mosconi, a clinician and researcher in Children’s and UT Southwestern’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, speak at a meeting of the philanthropic group that supports the Center. Autism is a subject that strikes fear and confusion in the hearts of many parents, but Dr. Mosconi reported that much progress is being made in understanding the abnormalities of brain function in affected children.
Like many developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders cannot currently be diagnosed with a single medical test. Instead, proper diagnoses and treatment plans require evaluations by experts who specialize in the field and keep up with the latest research. At UT Southwestern and Children’s, Dr. Mosconi and his colleagues are pioneering new methods of assessing young patients, predicting their prognosis, and instituting therapy as early as possible.
It is heartening to learn that significant progress is being made in what was, until recently, a field without much hope for affected children and their families. When leading institutions such as Children’s and UT Southwestern combine their strengths, with the help of generous philanthropists, the future seems much brighter.