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Autism in Children Topics..

 
You are here : home > Autism in Children > Diagnosing Autism in Children > Tests for Diagnosing Autism in Children

Tests for Diagnosing Autism in Children


Diagnosing autism in children is important for treating the disorder. The tests for diagnosing autism are comprehensive and include neurological and genetic assessments. Specialist doctors from different disciplines help in autism diagnosis.  Read on to know more about the diagnostic tests.


Two stage processes are involved in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders in children. The first stage comprises of developmental screening checkups and the second stage consists of a comprehensive evaluation of the child by a multidisciplinary team of specialist doctors. Diagnosing autism in children includes neurological and genetic assessments combined with in-depth cognitive and language testing.


Autism Symptoms

The severity of autism symptoms may vary from child to child. In case of children suffering from some other debilitating handicaps autism may even go unnoticed completely. A certain set of behaviour normally indicates possibility of a child suffering from this disorder. These include:

  • Impaired ability to make friends with peers

  • Difficulty in initiating or maintaining conversations with others

  • Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play

  • Unusual or repetitive use of language

  • Fixation or attachment to a particular toy or object

  • Sticking to routines or rituals and resistance to change of any kind

Diagnosing Autism in Children

Questionnaires and a number of such other screening tools are used by doctors to collect information related to a child’s development and behaviour while testing for this disorder. Parent’s observations too are taken into consideration while performing the tests. If the initial screening tests indicate the possibility of a child suffering from autism doctors carry out a detailed evaluation including interviewing parents and caregivers.


Instruments for Screening Autism in Children

A number of screening instruments have been developed to gather information about a child's social and communicative development within medical settings. Some of these screening instruments are:

  • CHAT- Checklist of Autism in Toddlers

  • M-CHAT-Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers

  • STAT-Screening Tool for Autism in Two-Year-Olds

  • SCQ Social Communication Questionnaire for children aged 4 years or above.

Autism is a complex disorder the cause of which may be multiple. Hence, while evaluating a child for autism team of doctors comprising of a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist, and such other professionals test the child.

Since children with a hearing problem can exhibit behaviour like delayed speech which can easily be mistaken for autism, before performing the standard tests for autism such children are normally tested for hearing disabilities first.


Autism Related Disorders in Children

In addition to classic autism there are certain other milder versions of this disorder which may be diagnosed at the time of testing. These include:

1. PDD NOS- Children who exhibit only some of the symptoms of autism and not all are known to suffer from PDD-NOS.

2. Children with autistic behaviours but well-developed language skills may be suffering from Asperger syndrome.

3. Children who develop normally up to the age of three and then start showing marked autistic behaviours may be suffering from childhood disintegrative disorder.

4. Rett syndrome affects girls. This is a sex-linked genetic disorder symptoms of which include social withdrawal, regressed language skills, and hand wringing.

While testing a child for autism a lot of emphasis is given to behavioural characteristics. This is a very subjective tool. Another peculiar fact about this syndrome is that while in some children symptoms are apparent almost immediately after birth in others it surfaces a few months after birth. Doctors consider testing a child for autism only if problems are noticed in at least one of the three areas of communication, socialisation, or restricted behaviour before the age of 3.

During the last few years thanks to progress made by medical science a number of screening instruments have been developed to test children for autism. Some of these instruments are extensively used and relied upon for identification of Autism Spectrum disorder in children.

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7 Comments
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.5 years ago
**BEWARE MISLEADING ADVERTISING/SPAM BY CLINICS IN POSTS BELOW*

Parents please beware before taking any advertisements on this thread from any clinics seriously. Your child’s well-being and your bank account are at stake. Several institutions are falsely claiming to have the same technology described in Dr. Shankardass’ TED talk or to have been previously affiliated with her in a blatant attempt to exploit our desperation as Indian parents and get business for themselves. I have discovered this the hard way, by contacting this clinic and spending thousands of dollars (with no benefit to my child) only to learn that they have no connection with Dr. Shankardass or with the methods she describes. Please don’t be fooled!

Anyway, ask yourselves what kind of organization peddles itself on comment boards!

As far as I know, this talk was presented at TEDIndia because this Harvard technology is currently being set up in India. I suggest you try to contact Dr. Shankardass directly (I noticed she is on Twitter) for information on any reputable institutions that may be using similar methods.

In solidarity,

Concerned Parent
2
 
 
 
.
Reply
.5 years ago
**BEWARE MISLEADING ADVERTISING/SPAM BY CLINICS IN POSTS BELOW*

Parents please beware before taking any advertisements on this thread from any clinics seriously. Your child’s well-being and your bank account are at stake. Several institutions are falsely claiming to have the same technology described in Dr. Shankardass’ TED talk or to have been previously affiliated with her in a blatant attempt to exploit our desperation as Indian parents and get business for themselves. I have discovered this the hard way, by contacting this clinic and spending thousands of dollars (with no benefit to my child) only to learn that they have no connection with Dr. Shankardass or with the methods she describes. Please don’t be fooled!

Anyway, ask yourselves what kind of organization peddles itself on comment boards!

As far as I know, this talk was presented at TEDIndia because this Harvard technology is currently being set up in India. I suggest you try to contact Dr. Shankardass directly (I noticed she is on Twitter) for information on any reputable institutions that may be using similar methods.

In solidarity,

Concerned Parent
1
 
 
 
.
Reply
Ken.5 years ago
This is a shameless plug obviously, but Bright Minds Institute regularly sees many Indian families with a child diagnosed with Autism, ASD or PDD-NOS.

See video of our success stories here:
http://www.brightmindsinstitute.com/news.html
(Especially TED Talk by Aditi Shankardass, discussing Bright Minds Institute methods.)

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our methods provide differing results for every individual but I believe Dr. Miranda is very capable. If you seek a first or second opinion, try Bright Minds Institute.

Best wishes,
Ken
 
 
 
.
Reply
Ken.5 years ago
This is a shameless plug obviously, but Bright Minds Institute regularly sees many Indian families with a child diagnosed with Autism, ASD or PDD-NOS.

See video of our success stories here:
http://www.brightmindsinstitute.com/news.html
(Especially TED Talk by Aditi Shankardass, discussing Bright Minds Institute methods.)

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our methods provide differing results for every individual but I believe Dr. Miranda is very capable. If you seek a first or second opinion, try Bright Minds Institute.

Best wishes,
Ken
 
 
 
.
Reply
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