Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder typically showing signs and symptoms at an early age. Presently, there are no biomedical tests to diagnose autism, instead, autism is characterized by a series of behavioral patterns and skill deficits.
Due to the broad range of differences in the presentation of symptoms, autism is considered a spectrum disorder. Individuals with autism typically have difficulty with communication (verbal and non-verbal), repetitive behavior patterns, social skills and executive functioning. It is a neurobiological disorder involving impairment of early brain development.
While there is no specific medical test, healthcare providers look at known behavioral and neurodevelopmental issues affecting individuals, in order to diagnose autism or ASD.
Signs of Autism
How and when autism presents itself is unique to each child, although autism can be diagnosed as early as 14 months but typically around three years of age.
Some of the signs that may initially surface for your child are typically in the areas of communication skills and social interactions.
If you or your family’s pediatrician/physician observe any of the following, consider evaluation as soon as possible by a specialist skilled in providing an autism diagnosis:
View the Signs of Autism
- No babbling by 12 months
- No pointing or gesturing by 12 months
- No single words by 16 months
- No two word phrases by 24 months
- Loss of previously acquired developmental skills, especially language
- Lack of joint attention (i.e., your child does not draw others’ attention to objects in the environment)
- Your child does not respond to his/her name
- Lack of pretend, imitative and functional play appropriate to your child’s developmental age
- Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate for your child’s developmental age
- Your child does not imitate others’ behaviors
- Your child is rigid in routines or has very difficult transitions
- Your child engages in repetitive or stereotypical behavior
- Your child has unusual or exaggerated responses to sensory stimuli (for example, covers his/her ears or becomes very upset with loud noises, cannot have tags in clothing, will avoid foods of certain textures)
- Your child has trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
- Your child avoids eye contact and wants to be alone
- Your child appears to be unaware when other people talk to them but responds to other sounds
- Your child repeats or echoes words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language (echolalia)
- Any persistent family, physician or teacher concerns about your child’s development or behavior
Evaluating and Testing for Autism
Our NeurAbilities team will tailor evaluations and testing recommendations based upon an individual’s specific needs.
To assess for autism or ASD, we may use any of the following gold standard screening tools including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R), Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), or an evaluation by a developmental pediatrician.
We administer a fixed battery of tests and additional procedures based on the underlying question, clinical information from parents, teachers, and other service providers, in order to address areas of concern that are identified once testing is underway.
Give us a call to schedule an evaluation or testing: 856-346-0005.
Services We Provide
Our team of physicians and ADOS-trained clinicians at NeurAbilities Healthcare is available to evaluate your child and collaborate with the behavioral team to personalize a treatment plan.
For individuals with a diagnosis of autism, ABA services are covered by insurance in all 50 states.
At NeurAbilities Healthcare, we are proud of the services we provide and the strength of our relationships with patients and families. Hear directly from patients who have found success utilizing services in our Autism Services division.