Shrewsbury Borough Autism Testing

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Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

Autism Diagnosis and Assessments

If you suspect your child’s development or behavior is not in line with the accepted norms, based on their age, you should seriously consider contacting your doctor to schedule an assessment of your child. If a real problem of any type does exist, it is much better to obtain a medical diagnosis sooner rather than later.

Not every childhood development or behavior problem is related to an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the frequency of autism is so high these days that there’s a good chance your child’s issues might indicate the presence of an ASD.

Diagnosis of Autism Needs to Include ADOS Assessment

The Diagnostic Process

If you’re trying to diagnose a toddler or young child who you suspect has autism, the process will probably include multiple appointments of at least a couple of hours each. A follow-up appointment to then discuss the results of the testing could last about an hour.

One of the appointments will include a clinician asking you (the child’s parent) a series of questions about your observations of your child’s behaviors at home. If your child attends school, you may be asked questions about their behavior in that environment.

The Right Time to Seek a Medical Diagnosis

As stated earlier, it’s better to determine sooner rather than later whether or not your child is on the spectrum. Reliable test results can be obtained for children as young as one year old—sometimes even as early as nine months old.

Warning Signs to Look For

Some of the developmental or behavioral signs that indicate your toddler or young child may have a spectrum disorder, which you should bring to the attention of your doctor, are:

  • Not babbling (infant)
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Limited eye contact
  • Limited interest in or awareness of other people
  • Toe-walking (using just toes to walk instead of using entire soles of feet)
  • Unusual sensory processing to one extreme or the other:
  • Sensitivity to touch, sound, light, or odor
  • Need for lots of sensory input, such as spinning in circles, slamming into things, jumping up and down, crawling under blankets or furniture to create the physical pressure of a tight space
  • Decreased fear of or reaction to pain, such as being physically hurt but not reacting to it
  • Inability to recognize dangerous situations, such as continually running into the street when moving cars are present
  • Not reacting to normal social interactions, such as not responding when you call the child’s name

For children who are in pre-school or kindergarten, warning signs can include:

  • Difficulty sharing or interacting with other children
  • Becoming very upset if things don’t happen the way they want or expect them to happen
  • Lacking the ability to engage in imaginary play, such as pretending to be someone else (e.g., cowboy, princess, super hero)
  • Becoming fixated on a toy in a way it is not made to be played with (e.g., spinning wheels of toy car instead of pushing it along the ground or setting toys in a line instead of playing with them)
  • Losing or not gaining language skills

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