Autism Discovery Institute Opens at Rady Children’s

San Diego, CA- Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego has opened a state-of-the art, 11,685-square-foot facility that will house the new Autism Discovery Institute. The institute will offer all of Rady Children’s autism services under one roof in a comprehensive research and treatment facility.

“Having everything in one place should be much easier on families and should result in quicker, more effective collaboration among the professionals involved in diagnosing and treating a child with autism,” said Aubyn Stahmer, research director for the institute. "Now a parent will get one set of recommendations and one set of referrals for care."

Autism spectrum disorders are complex neurological disorders that typically show up in the first three years of life. Experts estimate that about 1.7 million Americans have varying degrees of autism, which is generally characterized by problems with communication and social interaction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

About half of the Autism Discovery Institute is dedicated to outpatient services for children with autism and their families, while the other half is occupied by an "inclusive" preschool that mixes children with and without autism in the same classes.

“The new setup can serve about 90 children, three times as many as the previous school,” said Stahmer.

In addition to offering therapy and education, the institute is set up to provide research into the root causes of autism.

“There is enough space for researchers to work and observe alongside teachers and therapists without getting in the way. Those who use the center will also have opportunities to participate in autism studies,” said Stahmer.

For more information about the Autism Discovery Institute, visit http://www.rchsd.org/programs-services/autism-discovery-institute or call 877-64AUTISM.