Screening & Diagnosis
Because there is no physical test available, it can be difficult to diagnose autism. Professionals diagnose autism by looking at a child’s behavior and development. Although signs may appear at an earlier age, typically ASD can be reliably diagnosed by two years of age. If you or your child’s pediatrician is concerned, it is important to seek an evaluation by a team of professionals to provide a reliable diagnosis.
An evaluation may be performed by a developmental pediatrician, a child psychologist, a child psychiatrist, a speech-language pathologist, or a child neurologist.
Typically, an evaluation seeks to assess development levels across multiple domains (cognitive level, language and communication level, and age-appropriate skills)
Research indicates that parents are one of the most reliable sources of information regarding their child’s development, and parental concerns detect 70% to 80% of children with disabilities. Although it is important to seek the opinion of a professional, there are some screening tools parents and caregivers can use: