Autism Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD) can be challenging because there is no clinical test to detect the condition, such as a blood test. Physicians look at the history and actions of the growth of the child to get a diagnosis.
The autism spectrum disorder can appear before age 18 months. A diagnosis by an experienced specialist may be considered quite reliable by age 2. However, certain children will also undergo a final diagnosis later on. Adolescence or adulthood is where a formal diagnosis is applied. Due to this delay, children with ASD will not receive what is needed.
Early signs of ASD may include, but aren’t limited to,
- Avoiding eye contact;
- showing no interest in other children or caregivers;
- limited language display (for example, having fewer words than peers or trouble using words for communication); or
- Being distressed by slight routine adjustments.
As children with autism/ASD become adolescents and teenagers they can have trouble forming and sustaining friendships, engaging with peers and adults. or knowing what activities are anticipated in school or the workplace. They can also be brought to the attention of healthcare professionals when they have co-occurring disorders such as publicity disorder, panic disorder, depression or anxiety, or behavioural disorder.
Monitoring, screening, treating and diagnosing children and young people as early as possible. it is vital to ensure that children have the care and support they need to make the right decisions. There are several stages in this operation.
1. Developmental Monitoring
Developmental monitoring examines how your infant evolves and develops over time, and whether your child reaches normal developmental goals in play, listening, acting, talking, and traveling.
Parents, grandparents, early childhood providers,s and other caregivers can engage in developmental supervision. You will use a quick checklist of milestones to see how your child grows. If you find that your infant is not reaching any benchmarks, speak to your doctor or nurse regarding your concerns.
Your physician will also do a developmental assessment whenever you take your infant for a well-visit. Your doctor will ask you some questions about your child’s growth, or speak and play with your kid to see whether he or she is improving and reaching milestones. A failed milestone may be a sign of a concern, but the doctor or other expert can look more closely by taking a more in-depth examination or review.
2. Developmental Screening
Developmental assessment/screening requires a deeper look at how the infant grows. Your child will have a short examination, or you will sometimes complete a questionnaire for your child. The methods used for cognitive and behavioural screening are structured questionnaire surveys or checklists focused on studies that pose questions about the growth of an infant, including vocabulary, movement, thought, behaviour and emotion.
Developmental screening can be performed by a medical professional, and even by other health, neighborhood, or education providers. Developmental screening is much more formal than developmental testing and is therefore performed less than most developmental monitoring. Your child must be screened if you or your doctor are concerned.
Yet the developmental screening is a frequent feature of certain well-child appointments with all infants, particularly though there is no established problem.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises behavioral and developmental screening for all infants during regular visits to children at these ages:
- 9 months
- 18 months
- 30 months
In fact, AAP advises that all children should be strictly tested for ASD through routine visits by a well-child doctor to:
- 18 months
- 24 months
Extra screening may be required if the infant is at high risk of Autism (e.g., having a sibling, brother, or other ASD family member) or if behaviours often connected with ASD are involved.
If the child is at higher risk of developing problems related to preterm birth, low birth weight, environmental hazards such as lead poisoning, or other causes, extra tests can also be discussed with your health care provider. If the child has an underlying long-term health disorder or a diagnosed disease, the child may have developmental testing and screening in all aspects of life, much as children without special health needs.
If your child’s healthcare professional may not review your child regularly for a developmental screening test, you should ask to do so.
3. Comprehensive developmental evaluation
A short examination using a screening instrument does not include a diagnosis but shows if the child is on the correct track of growth or whether a doctor must take a closer look. If an area of issue is identified by the screening method, a detailed implementation assessment may be required. This standardized assessment is a much more in-depth analysis of the progress of an infant, typically by a professional pediatrician.
This standardized assessment is a much more in-depth analysis of the progress of an infant, typically by a professional pediatrician. The professional can watch the child, assign the child a standardized examination, ask the family or guardians questions to complete questionnaires. The findings of this standardized assessment decide whether a child wants special care or early detection programs, or both.
4. DSM-5 criterion for the diagnosis of autism
Experts diagnose autistic spectrum disorder mostly on basis of problems in two fields – ‘social interaction’ and ‘restricted, repeated and/or sensory activities or desires.’
To be diagnosed with ASD, infants must:
• Have problems in all fields
• Have characteristics from early infancy, even if they are not collected until later in childhood.
Difficulties in social networking
A lot of children and adults with autism have trouble networking with social interaction. To be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, infants must have problems in the field of social interaction.
Signs of problems in this field include:
- Not using words to communicate with other people
- Not communicating at all
- Rarely responding while talking to others.
- Not communicating interests or successes with parents
- Seldom using or knowing signs such as nodding or smiling
- using only small facial features to connect
- Not expressing interest in peers or experiencing trouble making friends
- Not participating in creative play.
Restricted, repetitive, and sensory behaviour or interests
Children must have problems with limited, repeated, and/or sensory activities or desires to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Signs of problems in this region shall include:
- line the toys in a special way over and over again
- Often flickering switches or spinning items
- communicating in a repetitive voice
- possessing very narrow or strong interests
- wanting things to still happen in the same way
- having difficulty adjusting their routine, or changing from one task to another
- displaying symptoms of sensory sensitivities such as being disturbed by daily noises such as hand dryers, not like the sensation of clothes.
Rating of severity
Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder requires the extent of care. It is used to demonstrate how much help children need:
Level 1 – Children need care.
Level 2 – Children require considerable assistance.
Level 3 – Children require very considerable care.
These amounts illustrate the fact that certain people have autistic characteristics that only somewhat impact their daily lives. Others have traits that have a serious impact on their daily lives.
Diagnosis shows the level of support for each region of difficulties. This suggests that children may have varying levels of support for their social communication abilities compared to their limited, repeated, and/or sensory behaviour. Or they may have the same degree of support for all of them.
The DSM-5 states that certain thresholds cannot be used to determine if a child is suitable for support.
If your child has ASD, that doesn’t always mean they’re in trouble. Autistic people should achieve a sense of well-being within societies. Early diagnosis is critical to enabling a person with ASD to better understand themselves and how to meet their needs, as well as providing caregivers, teachers, etc., with a guideline on how to act.
The willingness of a child to react to new information and interactions is at its peak in the early years. Early action will help children succeed. Often, they are freer to do something on their own.
Early diagnosis and individualized treatment of autism enable children and adults to lead independent lives. Infants who are diagnosed early on have a greater long-term prognosis.