Do you have reason to believe your child is autistic? You may have looked up information on this neurological disorder and noticed your child is exhibiting a lot of the same signs as other children with autism. However, it's not possible to tell what's going on unless you meet with medical professionals and have a proper exam performed.
Start by Discussing Concerns With the Pediatrician
Make a list of some of the things your child does that are causing you to feel like he or she may be autistic. Bring these things up to the pediatrician during a visit. If your child isn't scheduled for a checkup, consider scheduling an appointment just to talk to the pediatrician about the issue. The pediatrician may talk to your child, ask some questions, and evaluate how your child responds to those questions. If the pediatrician agrees with your findings, he or she may then give you a referral to see a neurologist at a children's hospital.
Bring Your Child to Meet With the Neurologist
If you've received the referral, the next step is bringing your child to meet the neurologist at the office. The neurological exam includes a series of questions about your child. You'll need to answer these questions, before any kind of diagnosis is given. The neurologist will want to know more about your child's behavior and reactions to certain things, such as loud noises and even running water.
Children with autism typically have trouble speaking and may not be able to communicate as efficiently in other ways. These children may prefer sticking to a routine and would usually have a hard time adjusting, if things aren't always the same for them. Some children with autism even rock back and forth as a coping mechanism, at times. However, not all signs are as easy to detect as others. After asking you some questions, the neurologist will talk directly to your child, and check his or her reflexes to see how he or she interacts and responds. It's then the neurologist may provide a specific diagnosis.
Some children are diagnosed with autism, while others may have a speech delay or speech disorder. No matter the diagnosis you receive, it's important to find out what steps you'll need to take to help your child overcome obstacles, communicate better, and eventually speak clearly. It may take many hours of speech therapy and early intervention programs, but help is offered to autistic children, as well as children who are dealing with other issues that cause speech delays, such as childhood apraxia of speech.
For more information, talk to companies like Brain Matters Research.