Middletown Township Autism Testing

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Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

Screening and Tests for Autism

Screening for autism is based on specific -guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to assist in identifying the condition before a child reaches two years old. These guidelines offer a significant advance over the past when diagnosis often did not occur pre-school age or even later. The guidelines recommend routine screening for autism prior during the first 24 months of age. Early testing for autism based on the guidelines assures treatment can begin earlier and be more effective. Delays in development and any behavioral disorders indicate the need for additional tests.

The standard guidelines doctors use has two levels of screening for autism. Level one screening checks for developmental problems to determine if the child:

  • Makes no eye contact at 3 to 4 months of age
  • Does not babble, point or gesture by age one
  • Does not speak single words in the first 16 months
  • Does not speak two-word phrases in the first 24 months
  • Loses social or language skills at any age

If level one screening indicates the possibility of a developmental disorder, level two testing provides a more in-depth examination to exclude other conditions. Neurological specialists skilled in diagnosing autism use a number of tests such as:

  • Medical history
  • Developmental tests in a neurological evaluation
  • Scoring social performance through psychological tests
  • Genetic tests
  • Metabolic testing
  • Electrophysiologic testing – CT scan, MRI, PET scan

A medical geneticist specially trained in clinical genetics must provide genetic testing for autism because several genetic syndromes may be associated with the condition. A genetic disorder may indicate other medical problems and the potential risk for future pregnancies resulting in a child with autism.

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