Skip to content

Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Physical Examination for Autism

During the physical examination, the health professional looks for specific signs of autism. A child suspected of having autism will have assessments, including:

  • Weight and height measurements, to determine whether he or she has a normal growth pattern.
  • Head circumference measurements, to determine whether head size is normal. Some children with autism have a larger- or smaller-than-average head.
  • Examination of the face, arms, and legs, to look for any birth defects.
  • Routine tests to ensure that developmental delays aren't caused by hearing loss and/or vision problems.
  • Evaluation for self-inflicted injuries. Sometimes injurious behaviors such as face slapping or head banging are caused by an underlying infection or injury.
  • Reflex testing. Children with autism often have undeveloped reflexes.
  • Exercises to determine hand dominance. Some autistic children have a delayed development of right- or left-handedness.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Current as of April 3, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 03, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

girl at window
Symptoms within the first 2 years of a child’s life.
boy playing a violin
How is this condition similar to autism?
 
toddler blinking
Learn about the 5 types of PDD.
preschool age girl sitting at desk
What causes this rare form of autism?
 
High Functioning Autism And Asperge Syndrome
Article
Gluten Free Diet Slideshow
Article
 
Dealing With Autism A Familys Journey
Article
Vaccine and needle
VIDEO
 
little boy walking in road
Article
Mother hugging teenage son
Article
 
Understanding Rett Syndrome
Article
Home Care Tips
Article