Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Autism > An Introduction to Autism
|

An Introduction to Autism

According to NIMH, evidence over the last 15 years shows that intensive early intervention for at least two preschool years improves the outcome for most children diagnosed with ASD. To provide a diagnosis, specialists look for certain behavioral characteristics. The child must exhibit problems in at least one of the areas of communication, socialization, or restricted behavior before the age of 3.

Diagnosis of ASD is done in two stages. The first stage occurs during a routine checkup that includes a developmental screening test. If any possible indicators of ASD present themselves during this checkup, the pediatrician will request further testing by a team that includes a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, and speech therapist. The specialists then perform neurological and genetics assessments, as well as cognitive and language testing. According to the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE), testing may include the use of the Autism Diagnosis Interview Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-G). The ADI-R consists of a structured interview, conducted with a caregiver, which contains over 100 items covering four main factors: the child's communication, social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and age of onset symptoms. The ADOS-G is an observational assessment that looks for communication behaviors that are usually absent, abnormal, or delayed in children with ASD.

NIMH describes another test, called the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), which evaluates the child's body movements, adaptation to change, listening response, verbal communication, and relationship to people. The child is then rated on a scale based on the typical behavior of children the same age. This test is mostly used with children over 2 years old.

Once these tests have been completed by the team of specialists, a diagnosis is usually reached and treatment options can be explored.



|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.