Diagnosing Autism: What you should know

The diagnosing autism is made when specified number of characteristics listed in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental DisordersDSM-IV ) are present, in ranges inappropriate for the child’s age. Autism diagnosis usually occurs between the ages three and five. The autism prognosis is consistent across a broad range of  studies – about 2% will attain normal functioning, with perhaps 40% labeled  high functioning autistic.

Helpful Note
Like any other family faced with this diagnosis, as you explore the options and resources available in your community, you will find on the one hand the unlimited potential your child has, and, on the other, the many limits others try to place on their future.

 

These high functioning autistic generally show some oddities of behavior, and have few or no personal friends. Yet, with appropriate intervention,   many of the autism behaviors can be positively changed, even to the point that the child or adult may appear, to the untrained  person, to no longer have autism. This is where a parent, facing a system with many flaws and pitfalls, must not compromise their vision of their child’s future.

Learn more about Autism diagnosis >

Learn more about DSM-IV

What to look for in Baby Development.

 

 

Baby’s Communication Milestones
Keep in mind that this chart notes average progress. The vast majority of children who do not meet these milestones still end up with normal language skills.

 

COMMUNICATION AGE
Social smile 0-2 months
Cooing 0-3 months
Turns toward mother’s or father’s voice 4 months
Razzing sound 5 months
Recognizes mama and dada 6-9 months
Says first word 12 months
Has vocabulary of  8-10 words 15 months
Has vocabulary of 15-18 words 18 months
Speaks in two-word phrases; Has vocabulary of 50 words. 20-24 months
Can answer “who”, “why”, and “where”, questions; Has vocabulary of 500 words. 3 years
Can tell a story 4 years

Autism and related disabilities, such as PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not OtherwiseSpecified), and Asperger’s Syndrome are difficult to diagnose, especially in young children where speech and reasoning skills are still developing. Parents who suspect autism in  their child should ask their pediatrician to refer them to a child psychiatrist, who can accurately diagnose  the autism and the degree of severity, and determine the appropriate educational measures. Autism is a serious, lifelong disability. However, with appropriate intervention, many of the autism behaviors can be positively changed, even to the point that the child or adult may appear, to the untrained person, to no longer have autism, and have a full range of life experiences.

  For more information go to  Autism Checklist.

Autism Research
There some exciting autism research underway. Specifically related to brain imaging, MRI’s and gene identification. NIH has sponsored a database of brain imaging data to give researchers a uniqute view of the brain.

Books on Autism
Browse our list of Autism books that may be helpful to you and your family. We have 20 recommended titles and more to come.

What is PDD and Aspergers?
PDD stands for Pervasive Disability Disorder. It is often

We are all fortunate to live in these exciting times where so much information is made on the nature of autism and the kinds of approaches to diagnosis, treatment and care that are likely to be effective in meeting the needs of autistic individuals and their families.

The autism prognosis is startlingly grim  and consistent across a broad range of  studies – about 2% will attain normal functioning, with perhaps 40% labeled  high functioning autistic.

These high functioning autistic generally show some oddities of behavior, and have few or no personal friends. Yet, with appropriate intervention,  many of the autism behaviors can be positively changed, even to the point that the child or adult may appear, to the untrained  person, to no longer have autism. Like any other family faced with this diagnosis, as you explore the options and resources available in your community, you will find on the one hand the unlimited potential your child has, and, on the other, the many limits others try to place on their future. This is where a parent, facing a system with many flaws and pitfalls, must not compromise their vision of their child’s future.

 

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