What You Need To Know About How Autism Is Diagnosed

Who can diagnose autism?

If you have concerns about your child having autism, talk to your child’s pediatrician. From there, your pediatrician will most likely refer you to a specialist. Typically autism will be diagnosed by one of the following:

  • A Developmental Pediatrician
  • A Child Psychologist
  • A Child Psychiatrist
  • A Pediatric Neurologist

How is Autism Diagnosed?

Autism is diagnosed by observation, interviewing the child’s parents or guardians, and non-medical tests. What this means is that there isn’t a blood test,  x-ray, MRI, etc. to give you results. The criteria for an autism diagnosis is based on what’s called the DSM 5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) Here is a simplified version of how autism is diagnosed. 

There are two main areas that are looked at. First, social communication and interaction. And second, restricted, repetitive behaviors.

Like I said earlier, if you have any concerns about your child’s development, please contact your pediatrician. If you would like some ideas of how to work with your child immediately (while you wait to meet with your doctors), check out my Free Autism Activity Guide at the bottom of the page.

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Free Autism Activity Guide

For Toddlers and Preschoolers

Improve developmental growth through fun, engaging interactions. Start with these 5 simple activities, and you’ll also receive future tips and ideas to help keep your child engaged and learning.