For children with autism and related disorders, receiving an official diagnosis plays a key role in their development moving forward. After all, this means that they can access additional support services, put accommodations in place to support them moving forward, and begin to explore different therapeutic interventions.

This is particularly important when you understand that early intervention has many benefits, as it means that your child is developing a range of skills and coping mechanisms that will set them up for life.

With that in mind, here are some steps that you can follow to ensure your child receives an autism diagnosis as soon as possible.

Understand the early signs.

Right now, the average age for an autism diagnosis is three years old for boys and four for girls. However, studies have found that “many children show symptoms of autism by 12 months to 18 months of age or earlier.” Being able to pick up on the early signs, alongside some of the lesser-known symptoms of autism, means that you can pursue the next step as quickly as possible.

The earliest indicators of autism are:

● Difficulty maintaining/avoiding eye contact
● Lack of response to their names
● Delayed speech/communication development

Keeping note of the different signs and symptoms you pick up on as a parent can prove useful when meeting with a paediatrician for the first time, as you can better advocate for your child.

Reach out to a specialist.

If you believe that your child may have autism or a related condition, then the sooner you reach out to their paediatrician, the better. While paediatricians are qualified to diagnose autism, they will likely signpost you to a trusted colleague, such as a child psychologist, who will carry out a series of tests to determine whether or not your child has autism.

The reason why you should reach out as quickly as possible is that there is often a long waiting time for autism evaluations, which can be incredibly frustrating. For example, a recent study found that over 60% of children experienced wait times longer than four months, and 15% waited over a year.

During an evaluation, the clinician will ask for information about your child’s developmental history, including any milestones they have reached (or missed). They will also interact with your child directly and observe them while playing or interacting with others. Following this, they will then carry out a range of standard assessments designed to identify the key signs and signifers of autism.

Following this, they can provide your child with a diagnosis.

After receiving a diagnosis.

When your child receives your autism diagnosis, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed, especially when you’re thinking about what this could mean for your child moving forward. However, there are plenty of steps that you can take to put your mind at ease.

For example, you should start by learning more about autism. This will help you challenge any preconceived notions you may have developed about ASD and ensure that your knowledge is as broad as possible. However, you should be sure to seek out information from trusted, reputable sources.

Following this, you can look into the different therapeutic services available to you, from speech therapy to ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis). If you’d like to learn more about the services offered at our facility (or online), please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

Any questions? Give us a call!


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