Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder do not have a defined disorder but rather describe themselves as having a certain set of symptoms that will always be present. If you suspect that your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, it is important to get a thorough medical exam before taking any risks. In this article, we will discuss some of the diagnostic and screening tests that are often performed in order to find this challenging group of children.
The first test that many parents choose to perform in order to make an accurate diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). This test evaluates the symptoms your child displays on a daily basis.
It is important to note that ADOS is not a definitive test for autism spectrum disorder. It is simply a good way to gain an idea of how your child behaves every day. The ADOS can also help identify if your child has the disorder or not.
The next test that can be helpful in determining if your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder or not is called the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI). This test is designed to help determine if your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Childhood Amnestic Disorder (CADA) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
When parents are able to know what the symptoms are of their child’s behavior, it will make it easier to identify what they may be experiencing. The ADI can also determine if your child has another condition like Rett syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome or Tourette’s disease. These are common developmental disorders that are often confused with autism spectrum disorder.
You may also request a blood test to see if your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, if your child shows a negative result, it does not mean that the testing was negative. The only way to truly tell is by performing additional testing.
There are many different kinds of tests that can be performed to help determine if your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some include; the Pervasive Developmental Disorders Checklist (PDD-C) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). These tests are designed to determine if your child meets the criteria for a certain developmental disorder. The CARS consists of seven different subscales that assess three different areas of social and communication functioning.
Once you have made sure that your child is doing well with the typical childhood environment and is receiving adequate attention from the school and teachers, it is time to make a move to diagnose your child. The screening process begins with the screening interview.
Your child’s psychologist or medical specialist will conduct a thorough screening interview that helps to determine if your child is eligible for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This involves a series of questions and will cover what your child can do, like, dress themselves, get in and out of bed, make plans for the day, play with friends, and even eat. The psychological evaluation also gives the professionals a chance to get a more thorough understanding of your child’s personality.
The screening will also uncover any symptoms of a specific disability such as anxiety, hearing and speaking impairments, behavioral issues and emotional disturbances. It will also help your doctor understand your child’s ability to relate to others, their social skills, language and cognitive skills, and behavior.
If there are no unusual behaviors detected during the screening process, your child’s psychologist will then conduct the objective test that helps determine if your child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is done by asking the child to read simple sentences containing words, phrases and terms commonly used in everyday life. This is an objective test that can help determine if your child is indeed suffering from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is only a screening tool for finding Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are no tests that can give a definite diagnosis and it is very important to remember that many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder still need to go through traditional treatments like; behavioral therapy and/or medications to ensure that they achieve the highest level of development possible.