Your pediatrician might be able to administer screenings, but most general doctors are not trained to formally diagnose autism. They might refer you to a qualified diagnostic clinician which include:
Your experience might look different depending on the type of clinician you choose. Many families prefer working with developmental pediatricians. Others might work with a psychiatrist or another specialist to get a different perspective.
A formal ASD diagnosis, or a medical diagnosis, helps you get the support your family needs, especially within the context of accessing medically necessary therapies and services.
Insurance Coverage for Therapies: Medically necessary therapies for ASD are often covered by insurance including, but not limited to, speech therapy, ABA therapy, and occupational therapy.
Financial Support: A diagnosis is required when applying for social security or disability benefits.
Plan for Care: A diagnosis helps identify your child’s support needs. For example, your child might need to develop social communication and self-regulation skills.
Future Research: The more data we gather through evaluations, the more we can improve services for autistic children and adults.
There are a few different types of assessment tools you should know about. It usually starts with an autism screener. The actual autism assessment will include a developmental or intelligence measure, an adaptive measure, autism-specific questionnaires, the developmental interview, and the autism-specific assessment. Learn more about the autism assessment tools here.
Yes, but there is room for improvement. We don’t have a single, perfect diagnostic tool for autism and there are a lot of factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis. There are a few “gold standards” that are used for diagnosis.
We’ll help you find the best care providers for autism, ADHD, learning
differences, anxiety and other developmental concerns.