How Is Autism Diagnosed in Children?

Did you know that one out of every 44 children is on the autism spectrum? Are you concerned that your child may be displaying signs of autism? It can be a challenging yet necessary journey to begin exploring if this is the case.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning it can affect individuals differently. As such, the diagnostic process for autism in children can be complex and lengthy.

If you understand how autism is diagnosed, it can help you get the resources and support you need. Fortunately, parents can follow a few key steps to help them understand the process of diagnosing their child with autism.

Below, we’ll outline the steps needed to diagnose autism in children so that you can be more informed on what to expect moving forward. Keep reading to learn about the best autism testing Tampa has to offer.

Step 1: Screening

The first step in testing for autism is screening. This means figuring out which of the ways your child might have autism, such as being unable to talk to people or having trouble making friends.

The pediatrician may test for the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty with social interaction
  • Significant language delays or lack of verbal communication
  • Repetitive behaviors, interests, or activities that are uncommon for the age level
  • Poor eye contact and facial expressions
  • Low empathy toward others
  • Little to no response to others’ emotions and feelings
  • Lack of imaginative play or interest in peers

If your child has any signs or symptoms that worry you, your pediatrician may recommend that you take them to a specialist for further evaluation.

Step 2: Evaluation

After you take your child to see the specialist, the specialist will start to figure out what is going on. They will look at how your child behaves and how they have developed. They will also listen to how your child communicates and see how they act around other people.

The evaluation process may include autism-specific tests to accurately assess autism symptoms, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) or the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).

This assessment may include tests that measure language, cognitive skills, and motor skills. It may also involve observing behaviors during playtime or other activities. The specialist will then use this information to determine whether your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Step 3: Diagnosis

If the specialist determines that your child does have ASD, they will then make an official diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on specific criteria outlined in the diagnostic manual used by healthcare providers (e.g., DSM-5).

After your child is diagnosed, the specialist will help you and your family create a plan to treat your child’s individual needs.

Find Autism Testing Tampa Professionals

To assess autism in children, autism testing in Tampa can help accurately diagnose it.

ICPS is one autism testing center in Tampa that specializes in autism diagnosis. We offer a variety of autism-specific tests and assessments to help identify factors of autism as early as possible.

If you need autism testing in Tampa, ICPS has the expertise and resources needed to make an accurate autism diagnosis. To learn more about the best autism testing Tampa has to offer, contact us today.