I have been doing some research on how a child actually gets tested/diagnosed with Autism. One website that I have found to be really helpful is Autism Speaks.
From what I have read online, there is not a medical test that can be done to conclude that your child has Autism. Autism can only be diagnosed from observation and educational and psychological testing.
We have pretty much gone down the path as outlined in Autism Speaks.
If your child shows signs or has delays of any sort, your pediatrician will probably refer you to Early Intervention, or for us ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). From there, they will be evaluation and can even be given the MCHAT (Modified Checklist of Autism in Toddlers) which is an Autism screener.
Based on the MCHAT results, your child will then be referred to a Developmental Pediatrician, a Neurologist, a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist, for further evaluation.
Abby had her 6 month re-evaluation with ECI on 5/2/2011. She is still behind in Speech both Receptive and Expressive. Her speech therapist would like to do the MCHAT. She explained that based on the MCHAT results their Behavioral Specialist would then come out and observe Abby. It would take multiple visits, maybe even months for them to ascertain whether or not she has Autism or an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Deciding on whether to do this is actually quite hard. But we are leaning toward getting it done, so that we know. My husband and I are both beginning to question ourselves and our decisions. We are analyzing everything up until this point to see maybe if we did something different, we wouldn’t have to be worrying about this right now.
I still believe that she may have Hyperlexia and her speech therapist is leaning towards Asperger’s. Guess we will soon find out…hopefully.
Has your child been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum disorder? How did the diagnosis come about? How long did it take? Thank you very much in advance for sharing.