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.



|


family games

Everything you need for family game night!


highlights

The Latest and Greatest Book for Kids
Search our interactive Book Finder for the top new books for kids of all ages, brought to you by the latest book in the I, Funny series, "I Totally Funniest."

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!

Top 10 Wintertime Neighborhood Games
Who says you have to stay inside when the temperature drops? Snowy weather is a great excuse to round up your neighborhood for some outdoor winter fun and games.

2015 Family-Friendly Oscar Nominees
The Oscar nominations are in, and they include several family-friendly movies. See which flicks earned a nod for Best Animated Feature Film and other awards.

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