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Can my pediatrician diagnose autism spectrum disorders?

Your child's pediatrician will check to make sure your child is hitting certain developmental milestones, such as babbling, waving, and speaking. In addition, a pediatrician may observe your child to see if any typical signs of autism are present. If your pediatrician suspects an autism spectrum disorder, and he or she will most likely refer your child to a specialist who can diagnose your child.

Sarine Salama
Sarine Salama on behalf of MDLIVE
Psychology
Typically, a pediatric neurologist or developmental pediatrician are the best specialists to consult with in regards to obtaining an autism diagnosis. If the child is under the age of 3, the parent can reach out to their local "Early Steps" division and recieve an asssessment at no charge. Early Steps provides therapy services to the child if they qualify as well.
Rob Gorski
Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities

A pediatrician can get the process started. However, I would highly recommend enlisting the help of a developmental pediatrician. Your pediatrician will play a very important role in helping identify early warning signs of autism. 

Your pediatrician will also likey refer you to a qualified developmental pediatrician for further testing and official diagnosis. 

As a father who has been through this process with each of my three kids, I highly recommend building a team of specialists. Your pediatrician is an excellant place to start. 

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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.