The best way to determine whether or not your child has Autism is to seek professional help. The internet is a great source of information, but it cannot diagnose Autism. There are many qualified specialists who are educated and trained to evaluate and diagnose Autism. Here are a few ways that Autism can be diagnosed:
During developmental screening the doctor might ask parents some questions or talk and play with the child during an exam to see how he is developing. A delay in communication skills, social skills, or play skills could be a sign of a problem.
Most doctor’s routinely check children with a developmental screening test at the yearly well-baby check up. However, if your doctor has not performed a developmental screening, ask that it be done.
If the doctor sees any signs of a problem, she may refer you to a specialist for further assessment and diagnosis. Some doctors have enough training and experience to make a diagnosis using parent information, observation, and Autism evaluations.
Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation
A specialist who can perform a comprehensive evaluation is a:
Developmental Pediatrician (has special training in child development and children with special needs)
Pediatric Psychologist or Psychiatrist
This evaluation may include looking at the child’s behavior, development, communication skills, and a parent interview.
Comprehensive Educational Assessment
Many school districts have Autism teams which consist of a multidisciplinary evaluation team of various professionals, such as a school psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational or physical therapist, and an educational diagnostician.
The evaluation results are reviewed by the team and the parents to determine whether a child qualifies for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
This team can also make educational and classroom recommendations that will best suit the individual needs of a child with Autism.
There are several ways that a child can be evaluated for Autism, and a diagnosis can be a medical diagnosis or an educational diagnosis.