Despite increased awareness of autism, some communities still perceive the disorder as a source of shame or are unaware of its real meaning, which leads to many people on the spectrum living without a diagnosis and lacking the support necessary for their full development. More and more people must learn about autism, its characteristics, and the developmental milestones that may signal the need for additional support. When parents, caregivers, or medical providers detect developmental delays, experts recommend doing an autism diagnosis test to confirm or rule out the disorders. After an official diagnosis, ABA therapies can support the individual’s development.
Given the annual increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with autism, it is essential to share reliable information about autism spectrum disorder and promote awareness and inclusion in society to support neurodiverse individuals and their families. At ABA Centers of America, we understand that the autism diagnosis test can be confusing and overwhelming. Therefore, we have developed this guide to provide you with a deeper understanding of the autism diagnosis test and to help you recognize signs that may indicate the presence of autism.
We acknowledge the significance of early detection and intervention to attain better outcomes. However, it’s essential to emphasize that at ABA Centers of America, we offer autism diagnosis tests for children, teenagers, and adults.
Understanding the Autism Diagnosis Test
An autism diagnosis test can raise numerous questions and concerns for parents, especially when they lack knowledge about what autism is and the diagnostic process. However, it is crucial to emphasize that autism is a developmental disorder characterized by variability in signs and manifestations and falls on a spectrum with varying levels of severity. Each individual with autism exhibits unique behavioral traits, meaning no two people have the same ‘level of autism.’
Ordering an Autism Diagnostic Test
For children, the initial step in undergoing an autism diagnosis test is to visit a physician, who will order the evaluation upon detecting developmental delays. These delays are typically noticeable between 18 and 24 months when children can get an autism diagnosis test. Early detection and intervention yield numerous benefits for the care of children with autism, ensuring improved outcomes in the future.
During the evaluation process to identify autism, a licensed medical professional will assess your loved one’s daily skills, language, communication, and cognitive abilities. Furthermore, they will ask you questions to explore the characteristics of your child’s behaviors and developmental history. In this conversation, you will likely complete questionnaires and respond to inquiries from the medical provider.
The diagnostic process for autism also includes a motor skills examination to rule out other potential medical conditions. This physical exam aims to identify any needs or complaints contributing to your child’s challenging behaviors or developmental delays.
The American Psychiatric Association has established and acknowledged criteria outlined in the DSM-5 for determining whether a person has autism. Evaluating each variable necessitates that a medical provider conducts comprehensive assessments.
What Are the Signs That May Indicate Your Child May Have Autism?
Autism is a complex disorder to identify as it manifests in various ways. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize potential warning signs of autism to ensure early detection and intervention. While each person on the spectrum is unique, and their behaviors will differ from those of other neurodiverse children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some common signs of autism include:
- Repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping or finger movements
- Fascination with complex topics
- Restricted interests
- Language delays
- Limited eye contact or complete avoidance of eye contact
- Sensory sensitivities to noise, smells, or textures
- Lack of interest in other kids or people in general
- Unconventional forms of play
Although these are just some of the signs most commonly observed in individuals with an autism diagnosis, the criteria for determining if a person is on the spectrum are broad and consider many more behaviors. Fortunately, ABA therapy, considered by the medical community as the gold standard for supporting the development of individuals with autism, can help them acquire life skills that may be more challenging to achieve without support.
Preparing for an Autism Diagnosis Test Appointment
Scheduling an appointment for your loved one’s autism diagnosis test can be a stressful experience. However, it shouldn’t be intimidating but rather seen as an opportunity to receive a thorough explanation of your loved one’s diagnosis. Here are some tips to help you prepare for this appointment:
- Educate Yourself About Autism: Do some research before the appointment to make it easier to understand and process the information provided by the doctor. Prior knowledge will also help you engage in a more meaningful conversation and ask precise questions. Explore reliable websites like Autism Speaks or ABA Centers of America to better understand autism.
- Create a List of Questions: This appointment is ideal for asking questions and expressing concerns. Having a list of questions will help you cover important topics you might otherwise forget due to nervousness.
- Provide Relevant Information: During the autism diagnosis test appointment, the doctor will ask for as much information as possible about your child’s development and behavior. Bring any crucial resources to help the doctor better understand your child’s history, including medical records, previous assessments, results from other tests, and even notes from teachers and caregivers.
- Be Detailed and Objective: We understand that discussing your child can involve intense emotions, but being detailed and objective when describing the behaviors of concern will significantly aid in the diagnostic outcome.
Results and Therapy Options
An autism diagnosis test is a significant step toward obtaining answers regarding your loved one’s diagnosis and moving forward with the support they need. Once the doctor has the evaluation results, they will meet with the patient and their parents. Depending on the outcome, the doctor will recommend therapy options.
Fortunately, there are specialized companies dedicated to autism care and ABA therapy, such as ABA Centers of America. We provide comprehensive services for the neurodiverse community, including autism diagnosis testing, ABA therapy for children and adolescents, early intervention, and various resources like FAQs and blogs to help parents and caregivers better understand neurodiversity.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an approach with over four decades of development and evolution. It is FDA-approved and science-backed, offering an effective autism therapy that utilizes teaching tools like positive reinforcement to acquire essential life skills and promote independence.
ABA Centers of America: Supporting Families on the Autism Journey
We understand that the possibility of receiving an autism diagnosis can be intimidating, something you may want to avoid. However, at ABA Centers of America, we want you to know we are together on this journey. Accepting and understanding your child’s autism brings significant benefits to your child and your family, as it allows you to address challenges with the support of professionals who have one goal: helping your loved one thrive!
An autism diagnosis test marks the beginning of a path toward treatment that will provide your child with the support needed to acquire the skills for independence, achieving their dreams, participating in society, and gaining self-confidence. So, we invite you to give your child the opportunity to receive a diagnosis to guide the start of their therapies.
If you have questions or concerns, we are here to address them. You can call us at (844) 923 – 4222 or leave your inquiries in our online form. We are here to assist you and your family in finding the best diagnosis and care for autism.