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Comprehensive Autism Evaluations
If you suspect your child has autism, our team can provide a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation using research-based assessment measures.
That gut feeling that your child is missing developmental milestones can be alarming. You likely have lots of questions, but let’s start with the basics.
Autism is formally known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It’s a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave.
It usually appears during early childhood, and no one knows the exact cause. It can affect children of all genders, races, ethnicities, nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Since it exists on a spectrum, no two children experience autism the same. One child might be non-verbal, while another speaks. One might be sensitive to background noise or bright lights, whereas another might not.
Regarding developmental concerns, AST believes early action can be the key for your family to find the right support. We’re here to help you from the very beginning.
Knowing the Symptoms
While a range of symptoms can make autism tricky to diagnose, you can be on the lookout for early signs. As your child grows, you can observe whether they are reaching typical developmental milestones.
Children develop at a rapid pace in the first five years of life, learning how to walk, talk, and interact with the world around them. Keep in mind that you know your child best. If you notice your child is not meeting milestones for their age, note what you are observing and bring up any concerns to your pediatrician. Let your child’s doctor know if you notice symptoms of autism.
The symptoms of autism can include:
- Not smiling at others by six months
- Not pointing or gesturing to communicate by 12 months
- Not babbling or jabbering (making nonsensical sounds) by 12 months
- Not communicating with single words (“no,” “mama,” “dada”) by 16 months
- Not communicating with two-word phrases (“want cup,” “go play”) by 24 months
- Not reacting to voices, sounds, or his or her own name by three years
- Making poor eye contact by three years
- Taking little interest in other children or caretakers by three years
- Regressing in (or losing) skills at any time by three years
Getting an Autism Diagnosis
If you notice an early sign, or if your gut tells you something isn’t right, talk to your child’s pediatrician.
There’s no medical or blood test to diagnose autism. Instead, healthcare professionals evaluate your child’s developmental history and behavior. They may need to rule out medical conditions, like hearing or speech problems.
If your pediatrician suspects ASD, your child will need to be evaluated by a provider who specializes in autism. This can include clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, developmental pediatricians, or pediatric neurologists.
A Thorough Autism Evaluation Involves:
We know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed. That’s why we’re here to partner with you and to support you from day one. We give you the tools and training you need to nurture your child’s potential.