Autism spectrum disorder diagnoses are based on observations made of an individual’s social communications, social interactions and their patterns of behaviour or interests. There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism.
However, upon assessment, a medical professional should consider the following for referrals:
- Developmental Pediatrician/Child Psychiatrist/Psychologist
- Pediatric GI Specialist (if child has severe diarrhea / constipation / bloody stools / undigested food / frequent vomiting)
- Neurologist (if seizures present)
- Hearing Evaluation
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational/Physical Therapy
- Nutritionist or Dietitian
- Developmental Optometrist (Vision Therapy)
- Chiropractor or Osteopath
- Music or Play Therapy
- Social Worker / Family Counseling
(From the Autism Physician Handbook, Canadian Edition, 2014)
Thorough evaluation of a person’s medical needs is essential to not only rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms to autism, but to address the underlying issues that may be causing autism-like symptoms. Comorbid conditions often accompany autism and these need to be addressed by appropriate health care professionals.