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Psychopharmacology Consultation Service

The Psychopharmacology Consultation Service (PCS) at the Emory Autism Center is a program that specializes in the use of medications for individuals with autism and autism spectrum disorders. The PCS provides families with assessment of medication treatment, information on medication treatment, potential benefits and limitations of medication, and recommendations. Because an accurate understanding of the conditions and behaviors is crucial for successful treatment, another focus of the consultation is the careful evaluation of symptoms. If medication treatment is recommended, the use of safe and proven effective medications is emphasized. Medication use that is integrated into a comprehensive treatment program is emphasized.

What services are provided?
The consultation, a one time meeting, consists of information gathering and observation, and usually lasts 45-60 minutes. Rigorous assessment and evaluation are provided to gain a thorough understanding of concerns. Information on medication options, choices, associated potential benefits and limitations, and recommendations are discussed with parents at the consultation. Questions are encouraged and addressed. Written recommendations are also provided in a report that will be subsequently sent to families to share with their doctor. No prescriptions, treatment, follow up therapy or referrals are provided with this consultation since all therapy will originate from your current treating physician.

Who might benefit?
Consultations can be helpful before medication treatment has been initiated or during ongoing medication treatment. For some, initial feedback and recommendations are desired when medications are first being considered "just to double check." Alternatively, families and clinicians may request second opinions to consider additional options.

What preparation will make a consultation most helpful?
Parents/daily caregivers and the individual with autistic spectrum condition should both be present for the consultation so useful information can be provided. On the day of consultation, medications should be taken. Emory Autism Center questionnaires should be completed and updated with medications & dosages to provide the most comprehensive consultation-more complete and detailed questionnaires provide the best possibility of specific recommendations. The family must identify and specify a physician in the community who has agreed to provide treatment so that recommendations can be incorporated in ongoing treatment.