Diagnostic Evaluations for Autism in Children

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Diagnostic Evaluations for Autism in Children

Testing for Autism

At Children's Health, we use gold-standard tools and techniques to diagnose autism to help your child have a healthier, happier life at home and school.

There is no single lab test to diagnose autism. This means children need a series of tests for autism and observations to get to the bottom of what’s causing their symptoms. Once we have an accurate autism diagnosis assessment, our team can make sure your child gets the specialized care and support they need.

Types of pediatric diagnostic evaluations for autism

We diagnose autism by observing your child’s behavior and the information you provide about their development. These evaluations typically take place with professionals from different disciplines, including psychology, speech-language pathology, psychiatry and neurology. Testing for autism may include:

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS): Our specialists use this detailed testing tool to diagnose autism spectrum disorders. Designed for children of all ages, we use this test to better understand a child’s language and social skills and understand their development. The ADOS is based on evaluating a child’s response and interactions to a series of play-based social situations. This might include watching a younger child’s behavior during activities with blocks or at snack time or talking about going to school with an older child who has speaking ability.
  • Speech and language evaluations: Speech and language differences might be mistaken for autism, especially for younger children. That’s why our expert speech pathologists are part of the evaluation team. Our speech pathologists can help confirm if your child has autism or a different speech problem and can make recommendations.
  • Psychiatric consultation and treatment: A psychiatrist might prescribe medication to help alleviate some of your child’s symptoms. Medication is frequently used in combination with behavioral interventions to help children manage symptoms such as hyperactivity, inattention, aggression and anxiety.
  • Brain imaging or genetic testing: We use these tests to determine whether an underlying condition helps us explain your child’s developmental delays.

 

The highest standards in autism care

The Joint Commission ranked our program as a Center for Excellence in Pediatric Autism. This means we’re held to the highest standards of care, doing the most comprehensive autism evaluations and following detailed steps and guidelines to support families. This designation proves that we follow the best practices in our fields and our patients consistently benefit from expert care.

A partner in your child’s education

Accessing appropriate school services can be a challenge for families of children with autism and developmental disabilities. Our team is here to help, offering guidance and support within the educational system and the community. When needed, we can act as an advocate on behalf of your family.

We accept insurance and Medicaid

At many organizations that provide autism diagnoses, your only option is to pay out of your own pocket. Our program accepts most commercial insurance plans and Medicaid, so you won’t have to spend large sums of money to get your child’s diagnosis.

Meet the Care Team