Evaluation based on Observation
Parents, family members or other caregivers of children on the autism spectrum are often the first to notice delays in the usual childhood developmental milestones such as speech, eye contact, play with other children or social interactions.
Sometimes autism goes unnoticed or undiagnosed in both children and adults, especially when symptoms are mild or when the person has other disabilities or health problems. In some cases, other medical conditions such as apraxia are present, making autism difficult to recognize. As a result, ASDs may go undetected for years and may only be diagnosed during an educational impasse or a life crisis which puts a person in contact with professionals able to recognize the disorder.
Medical professionals use the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to evaluate autism spectrum disorder and the related social communication disorder (SCD). ASDs are diagnosed based on a combination of specific behaviours, communication delays and/or developmental disabilities.
We are All Different
Autism varies widely in its severity and symptoms. An accurate diagnosis and early identification greatly improve the chances of optimal outcomes by establishing appropriate educational supports, treatments and interventions early on in the intervention process.