Psychiatry & Alternative Medicine located in Virginia Beach, VA


About Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is an often misunderstood condition that affects around one in 36 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At Charis Mental Health Plus Integrative Care in Virginia Beach, Virginia, psychiatry and alternative medicine specialist La Keisha Keneti, DNP, FNP-C, PMH-BC, offers comprehensive care for autism that blends traditional mental health treatment with alternative therapies, like mindfulness, pharmacogenetic testing, and organic acid testing. Call today or use the online booking tool to schedule an autism consultation for you or your child.

Autism Q&A

What is autism?

Autism is a spectrum disorder that can cause challenges with social interaction and communication. Its range of symptoms and levels of severity affect every person differently.

Despite the challenges, many people with autism also possess unique strengths and abilities that Dr. Keneti and the team strive to highlight. Early intervention, therapy, and holistic support services can significantly improve outcomes and help people with autism lead fulfilling lives.

What are the early signs of autism?

Autism symptoms vary widely among children and can include:

  • Lack of or delayed speech development
  • Limited or no eye contact
  • Difficulty understanding or responding to social cues, such as facial expressions
  • Repetitive behaviors or movements, such as hand-flapping or rocking
  • Difficulty engaging in pretend play or imaginative activities
  • Preference for routines and resistance to change
  • Sensory sensitivities, such as being overly sensitive to sounds, textures, or lights
  • Difficulty with transitions or adapting to new environments
  • Fixation on specific objects or topics of interest
  • Difficulty with social interactions and forming new relationships 

Dr. Keneti and her team specialize in early intervention strategies tailored to each child's unique needs and work with people with autism through adulthood.

When does autism develop?

While many children show signs of autism between 12-18 months, they won’t receive an official diagnosis until they turn three. Autism primarily gets diagnosed during childhood, but some people don’t realize they have the condition until they’re older. 

What are the most effective treatments for autism?

Autism is a lifelong condition that benefits from individualized and comprehensive treatment approaches tailored to each person’s unique needs. Dr. Keneti considers your age, condition severity, and specific challenges to address autism symptoms and improve overall functioning.

Dr. Keneti and her team may recommend:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medication management
  • Pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing
  • Organic acid testing (OAT)
  • Social skills training
  • Mindfulness
  • Supplements
  • Herbal remedies
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Exercise support

Dr. Keneti may also recommend seeking language and occupational therapy support for a comprehensive approach to care.

Call Charis Mental Health Plus Integrative Care today or use the online booking tool to schedule an autism consultation. Our friendly staff is ready to answer your questions.