Autism evaluations are an essential process for children showing signs of Autism. It is important to note that a diagnosis of Autism is not definite. The evaluation process can show the signs of Autism and reveal that the child does not have it. If you think your child has some form of Autism, it is best to have them evaluated to ensure they get the proper treatment.
The evaluation process can take up to three hours and will include interviews with parents, teachers, and other people who have interacted with your child throughout their life. The evaluator will also observe how your child interacts with others and how they react to various stimuli like noises or lights.
What is Autism?
Autism is a complex developmental disability typically appearing during the first three years of life. It affects a person’s brain development and ability to communicate, interact socially, and learn new things.
Autism is not just one condition. It is a spectrum of conditions, which all have different symptoms. Autism can be classified into three main groups: low-functioning autism, high-functioning Autism, and Asperger syndrome. The severity of Autism varies significantly from person to person.
The most common signs of Autism are social:
- Sociallties (difficulty making friends or maintaining relationships), commun.
- Communicationlties (speaking or understanding language), and Repetitiveurs (repeatedly engaging in the same activities).
What is an Autism Evaluation?
Autism evaluation is a comprehensive examination of the individual to determine if they have Autism. This includes a physical exam, intellectual assessment, and psychological evaluation.
The most common form of autism evaluation is the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). It assesses social interaction and communication skills in children. The ADOS-2 has been updated to include new items that reflect the diversity of children with ASD.
An autism screening tests for possible symptoms of Autism in an individual without a formal diagnosis. It is a brief questionnaire that healthcare providers or parents can use to identify children who may need further assessment for ASD.
Evaluating Child to Determine Level of Functioning
The following guide will help evaluate a child’s level of functioning. It is important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list and there are many other factors that can contribute to how a child functions.
This evaluation guide will be divided into four levels of functioning:
- Level One: This level includes children who can function without any limitations in their ability to communicate, interact with others, or complete tasks. They may have some mild delays in development or learning, but they do not require any support in these areas.
- Level Two: This level includes children who may need some support with their abilities but do not require any specialized services outside of what is available at school or in the community. They may have more significant delays in development and learning than those described in level one.
- Level Three: This level includes children who may need extra support in their abilities, but those extra supports are outside of what is available at school or in the community. They may have more significant delays in development and learning than those with a level two designation.
- Level Four: This level includes children who will require specialized services delivered by licensed professionals that are not offered within the school or community. They may have significant delays in development and learning, with some requiring a comprehensive transition plan, which could include medical services, residential placement, and special education.
Types of Autistic Children and How to Diagnose Them Properly
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviours. The symptoms of the autism spectrum disorder vary from person to person.
There are three types of autistic children:
- Autistic with average to above-average intelligence
- Autistic with below-average intelligence
- Autistic with low intelligence
The autism screening test is an easy and accurate way to diagnose Autism. The screening questionnaire is a series of questions a parent or caregiver can answer.
When answering the questions, it’s essential to answer yes or no. Once all the questions are answered, the test will assess whether or not the child has Autism.
Consequences of Misdiagnosis and How to Prevent It
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at a higher risk for misdiagnosis. This is because ASD shares many of the same symptoms as other mental illnesses.
The most common misdiagnoses are depression and schizophrenia, which can lead to negative consequences. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to understand misdiagnosis and how it can happen.
One of the crucial causes of misdiagnosis is that people with ASD may not recognize the symptoms. A significant symptom of ASD is difficulty communicating, which can cause individuals not to realize when their behaviour is inappropriate.
For example, an individual diagnosed with depression may become angry and lash out at others in front of others or focus on negative self-talk to the degree that interferes with their ability to function normally.
Another misdiagnosis is missed or incorrect diagnoses. For example, an individual with Asperger Syndrome may not be diagnosed until they are in high school or college, and their lack of social skills makes it difficult to interact with other people.
Diagnosing & Evaluating Autism in Children
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong condition that affects how people communicate and interact with others. There are three main symptoms: social difficulties, repetitive behaviours, and language or intellectual difficulties. The symptoms of ASD can range from mild to severe, so one can use no one set of criteria to diagnose Autism.
The following are the diagnostic criteria for children with ASD:
- Social communication impairments
- Restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour
- Problems coping with change
- Difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication
- Lack of interest in peer relationships – Poor eye contact or not wanting to make eye contact at all
- Lack of spontaneous seeking out of social interaction with others (e.g., lack of initiating play with others, failure to respond to other children’s greetings)
- Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
- Deficits in nonverbal behaviours
- Language impairments
- Problems with following instructions
- Problems communicating needs
- Delayed speech
- Having trouble understanding others
- Difficulty with complex sequencing skills (e.g., getting dressed, preparing meals)
The following examples of autism spectrum disorder behaviours are not considered criteria for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in a child:
- Lack of eye contact when looking at another person
- Persistent staring into space (e.g., at walls, ceiling)
- Avoiding eye contact with others
- Lack of response to name or personal pronouns (e.g., “he” or “she”)
- Failure to develop peer relationships (e.g., preferring one-on-one play)
Who diagnoses Autism in adults?
Most autistic adults are diagnosed in their childhood, but some are still not diagnosed until they reach adulthood.
There is a strong link between Autism and IQ. Autistic adults with high IQs may be able to mask the symptoms of Autism by developing coping mechanisms, such as memorizing social norms.
Some people have been diagnosed with Autism after presenting to a doctor with other mental health problems, for example, depression or anxiety.
Some autistic adults have been misdiagnosed with other conditions, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This can lead to them being prescribed medication that is not appropriate for their condition and may cause side effects.
When can Autism be diagnosed?
Autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months old. If a child is not diagnosed by the age of two, their chances of getting an autism diagnosis are slim.
To diagnose Autism, several steps need to be taken:
- A doctor will do a physical exam and ask questions about the child’s development.
- They may request an MRI or other tests to rule out other possible causes for the symptoms.
- They will review the results with parents and diagnose based on their observations and test results.
Who evaluates for Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects how a person interacts with others and their environment. It is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviours.
To diagnose Autism, a professional must evaluate the child using standardized assessments. A psychologist or psychiatrist will interview parents and teachers about the child’s behaviour, observe the child in different situations and give them various tests. Based on these observations, they will come up with a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder.
Methods for Observing Behavior & Developmental Milestones
Developmental milestones are the observable physical, cognitive, and social skills children develop as they grow. These skills are the building blocks for children’s future development. There are many ways to observe a child’s behaviour and developmental milestones.
Professionals can observe a child’s behaviour in person or remotely through videos or photos. They can also use developmental checklists to get an idea of what skills the child has acquired and which ones they still need to work on.
The following developmental milestones are considered the most important and show signs of Autism:
- Social skills: eye contact, making friends, and asking for help.
- Communication: following simple directions, imitating others’ behaviours that they see on TV or in movies.
- Language acquisition: using words as sentences and understanding when people are angry or sad.
- Motor skills: hand-eye coordination, balance, and walking.
Conclusion & Helpful Tip for Parents
We all know that the world we live in today is much different than the one our parents grew up in. Technology has come a long way and has changed our lives and habits.
Though this change can be both positive and negative, there are some ways that you can help your children to develop a healthy relationship with technology.
Parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers. Children learn what they see, so parents must be aware of the messages they are sending. Parents should also teach their children about healthy relationships and appropriate behaviour.
More resource: Psychological Facts about Soulmates
Pingback: The Top 5 Possible Causes of the Hand Flapping in Autism - Bodiamzon