Advertisement

What tests are commonly used to diagnose autism?

No test can confirm autism outright, however, doctors may use various medical tests and procedures to help with autism diagnosis. There is not always a clinical need to do medical tests. Your doctor(s) can recommend when, or if, a test should be done.

The following medical tests may help with diagnosis and possibly suggest changes in an intervention or treatment strategy:

Hearing: Various tests such as an audiogram, typanogram, and the brain stem evoked response can indicate whether a person has a hearing impairment. Audiologists or hearing specialists, have methods to test the hearing of any individual by measuring responses such as turning their head, blinking, or staring when a sound is presented.
If a hearing impairment is detected, treatment could involve minor surgery, use of hearing aids, or antibiotics.

Electroencephalogram (EEG): An EEG measures brain waves that can show seizure disorders. In addition, an EEG may indicate tumors or other brain abnormalities. Additional tests will be needed to make an accurate diagnosis of these conditions. If seizure activity is detected, additional testing may be required and various medications could be prescribed.

Metabolic Screening: Blood and urine lab tests measure how a person metabolizes food and its impact on growth and development. Some autism spectrum disorders can be treated with special diets.

The following medical tests may help locate neurological factors that can affect typical development and could possibly identify or rule out a cause. Results will probably not change intervention or treatment.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI involves using magnetic sensing equipment to create an image of the brain in extremely fine detail. The patient lies on a sliding table inside a cylinder shaped magnetic machine and must be still during the procedure. Sometimes patients are sedated in order to complete the MRI.

Computer Assisted Axial Tomography (CAT SCAN): An x-ray tube rotates around the patient taking thousands of exposures that are sent to a computer where the section of the body that is x- rayed is reconstructed in great detail. CAT Scans are helpful in diagnosing structural problems with the brain.

Genetic Testing: Blood tests look for abnormalities in the genes which could cause a developmental disability.

Source: Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD)

Continue Learning about Autism

How Long Does the SNAP Program Last?
How Long Does the SNAP Program Last?
What Are the Rates of Autism Today?
What Are the Rates of Autism Today?
Who Is the SNAP Program Geared Towards?
Who Is the SNAP Program Geared Towards?
What About SNAP has Surprised You?
What About SNAP has Surprised You?

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.