The Difficulty in Diagnosing Autism

Published by:

Mother and Baby

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. autismIn 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. Mother and BabyFor 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.

Challenges And Difficulties Of Raising A Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published by:

Autism is an umbrella term to describe a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that can affect 1 in 68 children, as estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disability can cause mild to severe social, behavioral and communication challenges in children and adults. Often, autism is only confirmed after diagnosis by a medical professional. Parents and siblings of an autistic child may also notice a difference in how the child learns, behaves, communicates and interacts. Depending on certain conditions, autistic children may range from being severely challenged to prodigiously gifted. This article by Autism Services Boca Raton will reveal the latest research findings.

Understanding Autism

Autism autism spectrum disorder or ASD affects a child’s brain development. Symptoms of this disorder usually appear before the child turns 3 years old. Although the exact cause of autism is unknown, there is a risk that the disorder could run in families. A child who has family members who have or had autism has a high risk of developing the disorder. Since the condition has a possible genetic predisposition factor, there is a risk that autism could appear in siblings. The risk that parents with an autistic child have to bear another child with the disorder is about 5%.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

There are also factors that could potentially contribute to the risk of a child developing this disorder. Risks are usually higher among children who:

– have older fathers
– were born extremely premature
– were born with very low birth weight

Difficulties of Raising a Child With Autism

Parents and family members of children with autism are often faced with unique challenges from the time the child is diagnosed. Fortunately, autism is a fairly common condition and families can rely on the latest information, therapies and support currently available. However, there are still difficulties that parents and siblings can and will experience. Often, families raising a child with autism will face a number of issues, such as:

Dealing With Stigma

Many people will treat autistic children or adults with a certain wariness, mainly because they are unsure about how to deal with the child or what to expect. Families often have to deal with the stigma associated with this disorder on a daily basis. Without proper support, many parents may find it difficult to help their child adjust to the environment he lives in.


Autistic children are often viewed as unreliable and unpredictable, hence the tendency to discriminate against them. Children with autism may experience discrimination not just from adults but other children as well. They may be refused services, rejected for certain educational (and later employment) opportunities or even avoided socially due to their autism.


When a child is diagnosed with autism, parents may experience disappointment, fear, self-doubt and anger. They might find caring and providing for an autistic child stressful and draining. Many parents worry constantly about their child’s welfare and future, and very often have to be extra assertive about finding and obtaining services for their child. Parents may also find that they have to make sacrifices regarding their careers and priorities, and may even question their ability to manage their circumstances. This may result in self-doubt, anxiety and even depression.

Sibling Jealousy

Since the child will require more attention, his brothers and sisters may also feel jealous about what they might consider as preferential treatment. Other children may feel resentment and anger, especially when they feel that care for their sibling is taking a toll on their parents’ health and emotions.

Physical, Mental and Emotional Stress

Many children with autism experience what is called a sensory overload, wherein external stimuli such as sights, sounds, smells and touch can overwhelm them enough to cause them to react by screaming, running or even hitting themselves. Some may even need to wear diapers way past the age of 3.

Verbal communication is also limited to a few words or phrases, some of which may even be intelligible, understandable only to the child. Parents who care for an autistic child often find themselves exhausted and exasperated. Some parents may even grieve what they might consider as a lost opportunity for their child to live a “normal” life.

Although the formative years of an autistic child can be very difficult for both him and his parents, training and practice will help establish a routine, a sort of midway point wherein parents and their child can understand one another. The availability of support and resources will also alleviate stress and help parents cope with daily tasks.


The term “autism” can have a negative implication for many people who may not understand what it is and how it affects the child. As a result, some people may consider a child as more developmentally challenged than he actually is, a misconception that could lead to prejudice. For parents, this challenge can be overcome with having the proper information and patience to deal with reactions from other people. The goal is to protect the child and to provide an external structure that is reliable and nurturing for him.

Cost of Expenses

Raising a special needs child requires financial commitment and it can be expensive. Some children with autism may require special care that may include medical specialists, medications, therapies and other treatments. They may also require access to special education programs and teachers. Many families might even have to move just to find better (and more affordable) services. Furthermore, many parents find that they often have to cut down on work hours or even quit their jobs to care for their child.

Facing a Different Future

All parents have dreams for their children. From the moment a child is conceived, parents will have formed idealized images of his or her future. When a child has autism, however, parents will have to understand that things will be different – how they raise their child, how the child will cope, how people will react to their child, and how the child will interact with the environment.

Although the task of raising a child with autism can be very challenging, it can be done successfully. The child’s future may be different from that envisioned by the parents but it is a future nevertheless. The parents’ role is to provide support and encouragement for the child to help him reach his full potential.

Being There for the Long Haul

Raising a child with autism is more like running a marathon instead of a hundred-meter dash. Children with autism who learn to adjust relatively well to their environment do so only after years of training, practice and patient assistance from their parents and caregivers. Parents may find this responsibility daunting but they may also discover that it has its many rewards. For assistance we recommend that you checkout Autism Services Boca Raton.