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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.

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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.