Diagnosing Autism: 6 Questions I Ask Parents to Help Make an Early Autism Diagnosis by Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP
One in 59 kids are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and new parents especially have a lot of anxiety about whether their child will be one of them. Usually we notice signs of ASD between 12 and 18 months, when children start to become verbal and mimic the actions of an adult. Here’s my short list of questions I run through with concerned parents:
- Do they have a social smile?
- Do they make eye contact?
- Do they babble, point or gesture?
- Do they have any compulsive behaviors?
- Do they have an interest in the world around them?
- Do they have sensory issues with food and textures?
Generally, children diagnosed with ASD have some level of difficulty making eye contact and engaging with the world around them. Sometimes they will grow into compulsive behaviors like hand flapping or pacing or experience sensory issues that are more evident as they get older.
Early diagnosis is key to developing treatments and support to help your child, so if you suspect they may have ASD, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your primary care provider for more thorough testing.
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