Autism is a neuro-developmental condition and the symptoms sometimes may not be evident in the early years of the child. Sometimes the late diagnosis is due to limited awareness of parents as well as denial or hesitancy in accepting their child’s problems. It is important that the parents are alert and aware of child’s behavior and if they spot anything that raises suspicion, they should immediately consult the professionals.
Diagnosis of Autism is done by a multidisciplinary team. Multidisciplinary team is a team of different professionals that look different aspects of child’s development and therefore can provide a more accurate diagnosis.
Professionals involved in diagnosing Autism
Speech and Language Pathologist
This team carries out several assessments and tests, which pinpoint the exact areas in which the child has a problem. There are several tests that can be used for screening and diagnosis of autism. Screening of Autism involves identification of early signs and symptoms of Autism during regular visits to the pediatrician and appropriate referrals for details diagnostic evaluation. Diagnostic evaluation is more detailed and involves not only tests but other investigations. Some of the common tests used for screening and diagnosis are Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC), Autism Spectrum Rating scale (ASRS), Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and Indian Scale for Assessment of Autism (ISAA). The criteria used for diagnosing autism by Psychologists is the fifth diagnostic and statistical manual for psychiatric disorders (DSM-V). For detailed DSM-V criteria click here
This assessment will aid in establishing a diagnosis as well as severity of ASD. These details will help to formulate a focused personalized treatment plan for your child.
Prior to diagnosis based on clinical observations and standardized assessment tools, you may be requested to perform one or more of the following investigative procedures for your child. These will help in ruling out other possible problems.