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What is Autism


Autism can be a very difficult condition to diagnose simply because it does not rely on blood tests or the like. However, there can be a number of developmental tests can be recommended and extensive observations that can assist medical specialists in properly diagnosing the condition. The diagnostic practices for Autism include observations on the child’s behaviour and development to make that diagnosis.

Universally, diagnosing an autistic person can be done in two steps:

Developmental Screening:

a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have delays. During developmental screening the doctor might ask the parent some questions or talk and play with the child during an exam to see how she learns, speaks, behaves, and moves. A delay in any of these areas could be a sign of a problem.

Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation:

A thorough review that may include looking at the child’s behaviour and development and interviewing the parents. It may also include a hearing and vision screening, genetic testing, neurological testing, and other medical testing.

In some cases, the primary care doctor might choose to refer the child and family to a specialist for further assessment and diagnosis. Specialists who can do this type of evaluation include:

  • Lack of desire to interact with other people
  • Display of erratic behaviour that can seem hostile towards others
  • Most commonly avoidance of eye contact when spoken to
  • Display repetitive patterns of behaviour

The quality of life for many children and adults is significantly improved by a diagnosis that leads to appropriate evidence-informed intervention or support that recognises individual strengths and interests.

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Because of its isolating and withdrawing nature, autistic individuals tend to have a challenge and difficulty in communicating with their surrounding community, especially that autism itself can hinder a person’s ability to focus on conversations for a long period of time.