Diagnosing Autism

Diagnosing Autism

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder can be difficult, especially since there is no medical test, like a drug test, to confirm the diagnosis; however, autism can be reliably diagnosed by experience clinicians in children as young as 2 years of age. Autism assessment should include a comprehensive evaluation by a team of specialist such as a child neurologist, developmental pediatrician, psychologist and speech therapist. Based on recommendations by the National Research Council (2001), the following evidenced-based assessment areas and protocols should be included in a comprehensive evaluation for autism:

Health, developmental, behavioral histories
Physical exam
Developmental evaluation
Standardized assessment tools and protocols which include structured observation of behaviors included in the DSM 5 criteria for ASD.
Parent knowledge base/support needs
Laboratory investigation to search for a known etiology or coexisting condition