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How is autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosed?

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To diagnose autism, a doctor will check your child’s development and behavior. The doctor may ask you (and possibly your child) questions, take a full health history, and observe your kid's behavior.

If the doctor thinks they might have ASD, she may suggest an evaluation. That’s when a team of experts who specialize in autism -- including a neurologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist, or other professionals -- do a series of tests and screenings to see if your child has autism or another issue, like a psychological or speech disorder.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet.” 

Autism : “Diagnosis lost: Differences between children who had and who currently have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.”

The University of Michigan: “Developmental Delay.” 

Center for Speech and Learning Disorders: “Hyperlexia.” 

Child Mind Institute: “Sensory Processing Issues Explained.” 

Mayo Clinic: “Lead Poisoning.” 

The Journal of Applied Research: “Autism and Autistic Symptoms Associated with Childhood Lead Poisoning.” 

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders: “ Social Impairments in Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS): Autism Spectrum Disorder or a Different Endophenotype?” 

Cleveland Clinic: “What Is and Isn’t Autism?” 

Naomi Steiner, MD, developmental and behavioral pediatrician, Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts.

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch on January 10, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet.” 

Autism : “Diagnosis lost: Differences between children who had and who currently have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.”

The University of Michigan: “Developmental Delay.” 

Center for Speech and Learning Disorders: “Hyperlexia.” 

Child Mind Institute: “Sensory Processing Issues Explained.” 

Mayo Clinic: “Lead Poisoning.” 

The Journal of Applied Research: “Autism and Autistic Symptoms Associated with Childhood Lead Poisoning.” 

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders: “ Social Impairments in Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS): Autism Spectrum Disorder or a Different Endophenotype?” 

Cleveland Clinic: “What Is and Isn’t Autism?” 

Naomi Steiner, MD, developmental and behavioral pediatrician, Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts.

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch on January 10, 2018

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What are some features of autism?

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