The signs and levels of Autism may vary from child to child; this can thus make getting a diagnosis very difficult. Children on a higher Autism spectrum sometimes may go years without being diagnosed. There are many factors that go into an Autism diagnosis. We will go over some of the criteria that are considered while diagnosing a child with Autism.
Doctors have a checklist that must be met before the possibility of Autism can be considered. Some of the signs on the checklist include, poor relationships with friends, focusing on one thing for a long period of time, poor communication skills, and insisting on certain routines or rituals. When these signs are shown in a child the doctor will want to evaluate the child further; the doctor will question the child's parents or any other people that have close contact with the child. They may send home a form for the child’s parent and teacher to fill out. Once the doctor has the forms back, they will compare the forms and look for similar results. If the results are all pointing towards the same result, further testing will be considered.
To receive an Autism diagnosis, the child will be evaluated by a team of medical professionals; this includes a doctor, psychologist, speech therapist, neurologist, and a psychiatrist. Once the child is evaluated by the team, they will meet and compare their findings. They will then have a meeting with the parents to discuss their findings. If the diagnosis of Autism is made, a treatment plan will then be set in place. The treatment plan will help make the life of your Autistic child better. While there is no cure for Autism, the treatments available can help to lessen the symptoms.
Unfortunately there is no single test that can determine whether your child is Autistic or not. It will require several appointments with different health professionals to rule out other conditions that could be causing problems in your child. Often a child who is late to talk is suspected of having a hearing issue first; after this is checked out the doctor can then move onto evaluating for Autism. Several health conditions can mimic the symptoms of Autism. Children always need to be evaluated for other medical conditions that could cause the same symptoms as Autism first.
As a parent you must also keep in mind that children develop at their own rate. So if you have concerns that your child is not reaching developmental milestones on time, you can ask the doctor to conduct some basic tests. If the results match the criteria for Autism the doctor will order further evaluations to be completed. Remember each child grows and matures at their own pace, meaning they might just be a late bloomer.
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