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Dr. Alvin Loh, MD

Dr. Alvin Loh, MD

Chief of Paediatrics, Surry Place / Associate Professor, University of Toronto

Dr Loh is  a developmental paediatrician and Medical Chief of Staff at Surrey Place.

Clinical: He has worked in the area of assessment of FASD, Behavioural Medical issues, Transition Aged Youth with IDD,  and ASD in children with genetic syndromes.  

Education: He has co-created curriculum on intellectual & developmental disabilities in undergraduate medical education at U of T such as a clinical skills standardized patient interaction, and visits to community agencies for people with IDD.

Research: He was the leader of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network Toronto site from 2008-2017 and published research on sleep interventions for parents of children with ASD, and the low prevalence of Creatine Deficiency Syndrome in children with ASD.   He has also published research on the care of persons with IDD and behaviours that challenge. 

CPA: He has worked for many years in advocacy as a member of the steering committee for the Physicians of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Advocacy (PONDA), and was Vice Chair, Chair and Past Chair from 2017-2023.  In 2022, he led a group to apply for a new Ontario Medical Association Medical Interest Group in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and is the first Chair.

Significant Work

  • Schulze A, Bauman M, Tsai A, Reynolds A, Roberts W, Anagnostou E, Cameron J, Nozzolillo A, Chenj S, Kyriakopoulouk L, Scherer S, Loh A. Low Prevalence of Creatine Deficiency Syndromes in Children with Non-Syndromic Autism. Paediatrics 137 (1), January 2016:e20152672. Impact Factor:5.515Co Principal Author.
    • Symptoms of ASD are reported in patients with Creatine Deficiency Syndrome. We assessed 443 children with ASD with urine screening and genetic analysis, and found no positive cases of Creatine Deficiency Syndrome and no obvious association between creatine metabolites and autism.
  • Malow BA, Adkins KW, Reynolds A, Weiss SK, Loh A, Fawkes D, Katz T, Goldman SE, Madduri N, Hundley R, Clemons T:Parent-Based Sleep Education Improves Sleep Onset Delay in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2014) 44:216-228. Impact Factor: 3.476. Co-investigator
    • Sleep difficulties are a common problem for children with ASD and affect child and parent functioning. The findings of this study using parent-based sleep education, delivered in relatively few sessions by nurses, was associated with improved sleep onset delay in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Green L, McNeil K, Boyd K, Grier L, Ketchell M, Loh A, Lunsky Y, McMillan S, Sawyer A, Thakur A, Bradley E. H.E.L.P for behaviours that challenge in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Canadian Family Physician 2018: 64 (Sup 2): pp S23-S31. Impact Factor: 1,908. Collaborator
    • Behaviours that challenge in adults with Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are a significant problem for primary care practitioners (PCPs) that often results in emergency room visits and overprescription of antipsychotic medications for aggression. This paper outlines an approach to the assessment of behaviours that challenge looking at physical health issues, environmental factors, supports, and the function of behaviours, lived experiences and psychiatric disorders, and helps PCPs support these complex patients
  • Huber JF, Loh A, Monga S, Esufali J, Shouldice M. Development of a Novel Multi-Disciplinary Specialized Care Service for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual/Developmental Disability in a Tertiary Children's Hospital Setting. Children (Basel). 2022;10(1):57. Published 2022 Dec 27. doi:10.3390/children10010057.  Co-Investigator
    • Created a framework for the development of an innovative multidisciplinary program to support children and adolescents with ASD/IDD in a tertiary children’s hospital setting
  • Loh A, Soman T, Brian J, Bryson SE, Roberts W, Szatmari P, Smith I, Zwaigenbaum L.Stereotyped Motor Behaviors Associated with Autism in High-Risk Infants: A Pilot Videotape Analysis of a Sibling Sample.  2007 37 (1) pp 25-36.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities 2007: 37: pp 25-36.  Impact Factor: 3.476. Principal Author

Created a coding algorithm and established reliability for videotape analysis of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and typical controls, at 12 and 18 months of age. Children with ASD “arm waved” more frequently than controls, but there was considerable overlap in stereotyped behaviours for both groups.

For publications please see PubMed.