Diagnosing autism can sometimes be challenging. The reason? Autism is not a disorder that is diagnosed through a medical test, such as a blood test. Instead, the best diagnosis involves a team of doctors. This typically includes a developmental pediatrician, psychologist, speech and language pathologist and an occupational therapist, which use interviews with caregivers and observable data to complete autism-specific behavioral evaluations.
Typically, autism is diagnosed at or around the age of 2 years old. As would be expected, it’s usually the child’s parents who will bring their concerns about their child’s development or behavior to the attention of their doctor.
Below are early warning signs that a caregiver may observe if a child is at risk of having autism. There is great variation in the degree to which autism shows itself, hence the name: Autism Spectrum Disorder, so one child may display all these symptoms while another may just display one or two. Many times parents mistake a child with autism as simply being an ‘easy baby’ who is quiet and undemanding. This is because many times it is a lack of normal behaviors versus the presence of abnormal behaviors that need to be observed.
Red Flags for an Autism Diagnosis in Infants & Toddlers:
- Not making eye contact or imitating others movements and facial expressions
- Doesn’t respond to his or her name, a familiar sound or voice
- No use of gestures to communicate such as waving or pointing
- Doesn’t follow others gesture or an object when pointing to something
- Doesn’t attempt to get your attention by making noises
- Doesn’t appear to notice or care if others get hurt or feel sad
- Has no interest in snuggling and doesn’t reach out to be picked up
- Has no interest in playing with others or sharing enjoyment
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at anytime
There is HOPE! Caregivers are advised to trust their instinct and take action to get their child assessed as soon as possible. The earlier the diagnosis – the earlier the intervention can start – the better the outcome for the child. An intensive evidence-based Autism Therapy is capable of reversing the symptoms of autism, therefore allowing a child to better overcome obstacles autism can create in their lives.
One out of every 68 babies born today in the United States will develop Autism Spectrum Disorder. Given this dramatic growth, the demand for professionals capable of providing Autism Therapy is extremely high and right now there is a shortage of trained individuals. BECOME an ABA Therapist with Autism Therapy Career College and be the change you want to see! Our quick online vocation school is the right fit for you!