What Will Happen If Your Child Is Diagnosed With Aspergers
As part of your childs comprehensive evaluation, you will be asked about early childhood symptoms and your childs behavior will be observed, says Eric Hollander, MD, director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. This evaluation will be critical to make sure your child gets the appropriate support services such as specialized educational settings, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and social skills training, he says.
You may also be referred to an autism diagnostic and treatment center. The nonprofit organizations Autism Speaks and ICare4Autism can connect you with resources and advocate for services at low or no cost to your family, Dr. Hollander says.
Its a good idea for parents of children diagnosed with Aspergers to seek counseling so they will be able to help their child learn to function, says John Carosso, PsyD, a child psychologist and certified school psychologist at Community Psychiatric Centers at the Autism Center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It can also be helpful to get connected to a support group to help you, the parent, he says.
Health Professionals Your Child May See During The Assessment Process
- Paediatrician â a medical doctor with special training and skills in children and their diseases. A developmental paediatrician specialises in child development and behaviour.
- Child and adolescent psychiatrist â a medical doctor with special training in treating children and teenagers with mental illness.
- Psychologists â an allied health professional trained to assess and treat mental health and behavioural problems.
- Speech pathologist â an allied health professional who assesses and treats speech, language and communication disorders.
- Occupational therapist â an allied health professional trained to assess and support people with physical, sensory, or cognitive problems and help them regain their independence.
- Social worker â An allied health professional trained to assist people and families manage difficulties. This could be through a combination of counselling and practical support.
Genetic Testing For Asd
At Boston Childrens Hospital, we recommend that all children who have been diagnosed with ASD get genetic testing to screen for specific DNA changes that have been linked to ASD and could cause other medical issues. For some families, information from genetic testing can also be important for family planning.
Genetic testing for ASD at Boston Childrens currently includes a chromosomal microarray test and testing for fragile X syndrome . Other genetic testing may be appropriate for children who have particular symptoms. As new genes are found to be important in ASD, some may be added to routine testing.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
How And Where To Obtain A Diagnosis/assessment In Indiana: Autism Spectrum Disorders And Mental Health
Dr. Cathy Pratt, BCBA-D and Marci Wheeler, MSW
When an individual is suspected of having an autism spectrum diagnosis and/or a mental health issue, obtaining an accurate diagnosis can be a time consuming, costly, and confusing process. However, the process can be made easier when qualified personnel are located who can thoroughly assess the individual to determine if they meet the diagnostic criteria for either, or for both. In this list, we have documented not only those who diagnose, assess, and/or treat an ASD but also provide options for those who have or are suspected of having a mental illness.
For children attending an ABA program/center, some are equipped with licensed personnel to perform some level of diagnostic testing as part of or in addition to the intake process. ABA centers are focused on obtaining a medical diagnosis and typically not an educational evaluation needed for schools. Most are also equipped to complete programming assessments, including the ABLLS®-R and/or VB MAPP. Ongoing assessment assists with program development. Contact individual providers/centers to identify their assessment options. For a list of ABA providers in the state of Indiana, visit our website at .
If you know of others who diagnose/assess ASD or mental health issues, please contact me at so we can add their name to the list.
Screening And Diagnosis Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder can be difficult because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Doctors look at the childs developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis.
ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable . However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adolescents or adults. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.
Early signs of ASD can include, but are not limited to
- Avoiding eye contact,
- Having little interest in other children or caretakers,
- Limited display of language , or
- Getting upset by minor changes in routine.
CDCs Learn the Signs. Act Early. program provides free resources to help families monitor developmental milestones and recognize signs of developmental concerns, including ASD.
As children with ASD become adolescents and young adults, they might have difficulties developing and maintaining friendships, communicating with peers and adults, or understanding what behaviors are expected in school or on the job. They may also come to the attention of healthcare providers because they have co-occurring conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression, or conduct disorder.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Symbol For Autism
How Is Asd Diagnosed
There is no single test to diagnose ASD. Diagnosing ASD involves a combination of screening questions, assessments, and evaluation of the way a child behaves and interacts with others.
As a parent, you know your child best and are their best advocate. If you are concerned, share your observations with your doctor. Your input could help your child get the help they need.
Screening questions are usually asked at the 18-month and 24-month well-child visits. But they may be asked sooner if you are concerned that your child may have signs of ASD. The questions cover how your child talks, moves, and interacts with others. The answers help your doctor understand how your child is developing and if there are signs of a problem that might be related to ASD.
If your doctor thinks your child may have ASD, he or she may refer you to a specialist, such as a developmental pediatrician, child psychiatrist or psychologist, or neuropsychologist.
A specialist will ask about your child’s health history and do a physical exam. A specialist will also:
- Ask about your child’s behavior and interaction with others.
- Observe how your child interacts with others and behaves during play or while doing specific tasks.
What To Do While Youre Waiting For An Assessment
It can be a stressful time waiting for your childâs autism assessment. The good news is your child doesnât need a formal autism diagnosis to access support.
The NDISâs Early Childhood Early Intervention approach is available to all children aged under 7 who have been identified with a developmental delay or disability.
The first step is to meet with an NDIS Early Childhood Partner to discuss your childâs needs. They can give you information about the supports and services available in your local community, provide some short-term early intervention support where appropriate, and request access into the NDIS if this is required.
You could also attend an Early Days workshop. These are free workshops for parents and carers of young children with autism but are also suitable for parents whose children have not yet received a diagnosis.
You May Like: Are Stuttering And Autism Related
How Will They Determine That I Am Autistic
The characteristics of autism vary from one person to another, but in order for a diagnosis to be made, you will usually be assessed as having had persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests . These difficulties will have been present since early childhood and will have affected your everyday life.
There are several diagnostic tools available, and diagnosticians aren’t obliged to use a specific tool. The tool is likely to involve a series of questions about your developmental history from when you were a young child (for example, about language and play.
What You Can Do While You Wait For An Assessment
If you think you or your child need support at school, home or at work, you can start getting help before having an assessment.
- find a local support group using the National Autistic Society services directory
- talk to teachers or special educational needs staff at your child’s school
- speak to student support services at college or university
- speak to your manager or human resources at work
- ask your local council for a needs assessment to see what support they can recommend
Recommended Reading: Nonverbal Learning Disorder Vs Aspergers
Whats Involved In Autism Spectrum And Developmental Disorder Assessments How Long Will The Assessments Take
Autism spectrum and developmental disorder assessments are comprehensive. Typically, they begin with an initial clinical interview to understand your concerns and struggles as well as your psychological history. Following the initial meeting, we will administer a wide range of scientific, evidence-based questionnaires to you and other individuals who know you well . We also complete cognitive tests that identify strengths and weaknesses in a childs ability to process information and solve problems. When an autism spectrum disorder is suspected we make use of specific tests that assess a wide range of social communication skills and help identify restricted patterns of behaviour/interests. Following this process, your clinical psychologist will bring together results of the clinical interview, questionnaires, and additional tests and may require a subsequent session to further clarify his or her understanding of your difficulties. A diagnosis is rendered or clarified on the basis of this process, and recommendations for treatment are provided. You will be given feedback on the results of the assessment, and all your questions about the results will be addressed.
If You Get An Autism Diagnosis
If you are diagnosed as autistic, you may have a lot of questions. You might be wondering how you can find out more about your condition, meet other autistic people or access services and support.
Some people find post-diagnostic support valuable. Some diagnostic teams and professionals offer follow-up services after diagnosis and might be able to answer your questions and point you towards support services. However, not all do this.
Support does not automatically follow diagnosis, but having a formal diagnosis does mean that you are more likely to be able to accessservicesand claim anybenefitsyou are entitled to. Not everyone feels they need further support for some people, simply getting a diagnosis is enough.
Don’t Miss: Minimally Verbal Autism
Concern That The Testing Will Be Stressful For The Child
While I cannot guarantee that your child, whether they are neurotypical or have autism, will be 100% happy throughout the whole process, I can attempt to reassure you by sharing my own experiences.
My children did not find any part of the testing process difficult, stressful or upsetting. No part of it was invasive or unpleasant. If Im honest, they didnt really know that they were being assessed. We went along to see some very nice people and they played some games and did some activities. Thats it.
If you want to hear a full account of exactly what went on in my daughters ADOS assessment, check out the video below.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD is a condition that brings challenges in many areas of a childs development. Children with autism will develop differently in areas like speech, socializing, attention, and motor function.
As a parent, you may notice the signs of autism as young as six months of age. Some children do not exhibit signs of autism until later. Professional testing can start as early as 18 months.
Don’t Miss: Are Stuttering And Autism Related
What Is The Difference Between Autism And Autism Spectrum Disorder
The term autism was changed to autism spectrum disorder in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association. ASD is now an umbrella term that covers the following conditions:
- Autistic disorder.
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified .
- Asperger syndrome.
People with ASD have trouble with social interactions and with interpreting and using non-verbal and verbal communication in social contexts. Individuals with ASD may also have the following difficulties:
- Inflexible interests.
- Insistence on sameness in environment or routine.
- Repetitive motor and sensory behaviors, like flapping arms or rocking.
- Increased or decreased reactions to sensory stimuli.
How well someone with ASD can function in day-to-day life depends on the severity of their symptoms. Given that autism varies widely in severity and everyday impairment, the symptoms of some people arent always easily recognized.
Others Saying That There Is Nothing Wrong
This is a big one for lots of parents. So many of us, myself included, have had someone in our lives suggest that there is nothing wrong with the child that we have concerns about.
There are a few things to consider here regarding the person stating that there is nothing wrong and your child doesnt need testing
- They may not see all of the signs and symptoms that you do as they are not with your child around the clock the way in which you are. Often children with autism will self regulate well in public or when away for you, only to meltdown in the comfort and safety of their own home.
- They may not be an expert in autism and aware of all of the signs and symptoms of the spectrum.
- They may know a person with autism who is nothing like your child. They may therefore draw the conclusion that as the person that they know with ASD is different from your child and your child cannot possibly have autism.
- They may themselves be in denial about your childs symptoms and not be willing to accept the fact that they may have ASD.
You May Like: Can A Child Outgrow Autism
How To Test A Child For Autism
You may ask your childs healthcare provider to periodically check your child for signs of autism with a developmental screening test. A screening test alone will not result in a diagnosis but can indicate if your child should see a specialist. A developmental pediatrician, child psychologist or psychiatrist, pediatric neurologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or other specialist can conduct a formal developmental evaluation.
Getting An Autism Diagnosis For Children
If you think your child may be showing signs of autism, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your childs General Practitioner , or child and family health nurse.
Your GP or child and family health nurse will ask you questions about your childs development. They may also examine and observe your child. This will help them rule out other possible health or developmental issues.
If they think your child has some of the characteristics of autism, they may refer your child for further assessment.
Fast fact: Autism can be diagnosed in children aged from 18 – 24 months, but can sometimes be diagnosed even younger.
Don’t Miss: Does James Holzhauer Have Autism
I Think My Child May Have Autism
If you think your child has autism or your child is showing signs or symptoms of autism, it is important to have them screened. The sooner your child receives a diagnosis, the sooner they can begin needed services which can improve their outcome and quality of life.
This article will give you information about the screening and assessment processes, including:
- How to prepare for your appointment
- What to do during your appointment
- Answers to frequently asked questions, such as what to do if a doctor or school tells you to wait and see
How Is Asd Treated
One of the biggest challenges is finding the most effective form of treatment. The choices seem endless and differentiating one from another can be daunting. Parents often rely on therapists to direct and administer treatment, but many parents want to learn as much as possible so theyre in the best position to help their child. The most common treatments include applied behavioral analysis, relationship-building strategies, speech/language, and occupational therapy, counseling, and social skills groups.
To learn more, read our ASD Overview article.
Your privacy is important to us. All results are completely anonymous.
Read Also: Growing Out Of Autism Spectrum
Autism Speaks Canada Autism Response Team
Autism Speaks Canada Autism Response Team is a helpful online community for anyone whose life has been impacted by autism – family members, peers, friends and autistic Canadians. Whether youre looking for a certified therapist or trainer, or resources to help you through transitions, or need support from an inclusive, diverse community, this is the place for you. There is something for everyone. Try it out for free.
If youre a parent or other caregiver concerned that a child may have autism, its important and always appropriate to take your concerns to a doctor. Autism Speaks Canada encourages you to do so promptly as earlier intervention can improve outcomes.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends autism screening at all 18- and 24-month well-child visits and anytime a parent or doctor has concerns. But you dont have to wait. You can request an autism screening anytime from your childs doctor. Such a screening does not diagnose autism. Rather, it looks further at the behaviors that are considered red flags for autism.
Meanwhile, you can complete The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised below. This scientifically validated screening test assesses autism risk in children ages 16 to 30 months. It takes just a few minutes to complete, and you can print and take the results to your doctor.
Screening is the first step in understanding your child’s world and helping them be the best they can be.