It is not easy to diagnose autism. At present, there is no easy way to tell if a child is autistic and there are no conclusive blood tests for this type of developmental disorder. In general, it is up to the psychologists and doctors to monitor the individual closely and to come to a decision based on patient behavior. Naturally, this is doesn’t make the diagnostic process easy.
Delayed or missed milestones may indicate that all is not well with the child. If a parent raises concerns about a child’s development or behavior the doctors should assess whether the child is developmentally delayed and lookout for the early signs of autism. In most cases it is the parents who initially voice their concerns to the physician.
The Benefit of Diagnosing Autism in the Early Stages
It is vital that youngsters are diagnosed early. An early diagnosis ensures the child obtains the assistance needed to help them to make progress. A child as young as eighteen months old can be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, however, those in the medical profession agree it is easier to diagnose autism in children over two.
During a Wellness visit the doctor will examine the child, inquire about the youngster’s development and ask if they are meeting milestones. Some children develop faster than others, but the doctor will keep a close eye on any child who appears to show early signs of autism. If the physician has any concerns he will refer the child to the appropriate medical specialist.
The Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder
In the first instance, the parents may notice the child has development issues. For example, the youngster may not be progressing as fast as his siblings or be as quick as children of the same age. A twelve month old child, who is not interested in playing simple games or fails to answer to their name, though they have good hearing, may need to see a specialist. A child who finds it difficult to interact with others could be showing early signs of autism.
The medical profession agrees it is difficult to diagnose autism because every child develops at a different rate; however, there are numerous early warning signs. For example, the child may be reluctant to make eye contact and he or she may appear uninterested in others. The youngster may refuse to reach out to his parents and there could be a clear lack of laughter and smiles. However, parental instinct is the most powerful diagnostic tool, so parents who feel something is wrong should relay their worries to the doctor. Good doctors are willing to spend time with anxious parents and listen to their concerns. It may be too early to diagnose autism, but the doctor may consider the child should be referred to a specialist.
How to Diagnose Autism
In the first instance the doctor will refer the child to a highly-trained specialist. The professional will conduct a number of diagnostic tests. The evaluation will be carried out by trained individuals including child psychologists, developmental pediatricians and child neurologists.
Parental assessment is also taken into account and in many instances this vital information is a leading factor when diagnosing an autism spectrum disorder. In general, parents spend a lot of time with their children, so they know if the child has behavioral or developmental problems.
It is crucial to diagnose autism in the early stages. A child who is diagnosed as autistic will receive help from day one. In reality, the child who has just been diagnosed autistic should receive help as early as possible.
If doctors and parents work together it is easier to diagnose an autism spectrum disorder in the early stages. Early intervention and therapy is vital for children with developmental problems.
A high percentage of doctors find it difficult to diagnose autism as many know little about the disorder. Autism Spectrum disorder is a complex disorder, but parents of young children should familiarize themselves with the early signs of autism. They should also be aware of early signs and symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder and note if the child fails to meet milestones or appears to behave unusually.