Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is marked by impairments in communication and social skills. More severe forms of ASD can also include intellectual or language impairments, and co-occurring diagnoses of ADHD, anxiety, or poor behavioral control. ASD is typically diagnosed during the first three years of life. However, because the symptoms range on a continuum of impairment level, some children and adults go years without ever receiving an explanation for why they behave the way they do.
Importantly, ASD is just one type of neurodevelopmental disorder. Other disorders that demonstrate similar symptoms as ASD include: Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, and Motor Disorders. A thorough evaluation is the most effective way of accurately diagnosing and treating.
Evaluations to diagnose Autism and other developmental disorders typically include:
- ADOS-2, the gold standard for assessing Autism Spectrum Disorders
- In-depth interviews with parents
- Standardized assessment measures for cognitive abilities, communication and language
- Evaluation of adaptive skills
- Assessment of social-emotional functioning