What should I do if I think my child may have autism?

Chantal Sicile-Kira
Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities Specialist
Getting a diagnosis of autism as early as possible is important because research shows that early intervention is the best intervention. There is no medical test that can be given to tell if a person has autism or not, and not all children with autism develop in the same way. Find a pediatrician who is knowledgeable about autism and discuss your concerns with him or her.

If you think that your child may have autism you may first want to speak to your child’s pediatrician. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for autism at their 18- and 24-month well-baby check-ups. If you or your doctor has concerns, your child’s doctor should refer you to either Early Intervention or a specialist (Developmental Pediatrician, Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Psychologist) for a more thorough evaluation. In addition to the autism-specific evaluation, hearing and lead screenings should also be conducted.

Continue Learning about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Symptoms

Does a child have autism if he only talks to his immediate family?
Dr. Sara WiemerDr. Sara Wiemer
If your child is able to have normal conversations and relationships with family members and does no...
More Answers
Why is toilet training difficult in children with autism?
William StillmanWilliam Stillman
Toilet training can be a complex issue for those children who may have acute sensory sensitiviti...
More Answers
What are the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
The Dan Marino FoundationThe Dan Marino Foundation
Every person with autism is different. However, there are some common characteristics of individuals...
More Answers
Why does my autistic toddler nearly always walk on tiptoes?
William StillmanWilliam Stillman
There are two possibilities for your child’s toe-walking. First, have you noticed that she has a...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.