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How do doctors test for autism?

posted Jan 17, 2020, 10:10 AM by Dr. Curtis Cripe

Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is one of the few neurological disorders that people can experience throughout their lifetime. Unlike other neurological like Tourette’s syndrome, ASD doesn’t go away after a decade nor once the patient reaches adulthood. Also, the symptoms might not be as pronounced as Tourette’s.

A child who constantly avoids eye contact could be perceived as just shy, or it could be that parents might not see the problem in a child with a weird posture. But according to neuroengineer Dr. Curtis Cripe, parents should at least have an idea of the symptoms of ASD and other neurological issues, particularly because these diseases manifest early in life.

While resources regarding symptoms are widely available on the internet and through support groups, actually diagnosing ASD is a different task altogether. In fact, professionals adhere to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Using this, physicians can perform screening tests and comprehensive diagnostic evaluations on a child.

Developmental screening involves knowing if a child is within their growth trajectory and is not experiencing any delays. Difficulties in areas such as speech or motor skills could be a sign of developmental delays. And, while developmental delay is different from ASD, it could by itself be a symptom of ASD.

If a child has developmental delay, they undergo comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Here, physicians see if a child falls into the autism spectrums. These include challenges in communication and social interaction as well as restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior. Dr. Curtis Cripe states that these methods of evaluation are oftentimes used to take a closer look into the behavior and cognitive level of a child.

Dr. Curtis Cripeis a neuroengineer with a diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. If you are interested in reading more about neurological disorders, visit this website.

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