Just under 2% of American children (1 in 54) have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Early diagnosis is critical to ensuring your child gets the treatment and support they need to thrive. Lisa Liguori, MA, BCBA, LBA, provides expert autism diagnosis services at United Therapy Center in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles and in Riverside, California. Call the practice today or schedule a consultation online if you’re concerned that your child has ASD.
What are the warning signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
ASD symptoms vary significantly among children. Some children may show signs of ASD during infancy, while others may not develop symptoms until they’re 2 or 3 years old. The warning signs of ASD also vary with age.
For example, very early symptoms in infants include not smiling, not making eye contact, or having little back-and-forth babbling or facial expressions.
ASD can also cause delayed speech development. Your child may not have many words by 16 months or not be able to make two-word phrases (milk, mama) by 24 months.
Other common ASD symptoms in children of any age include:
- Loss of previously acquired communication and social skills
- Avoiding eye contact
- Preferring to play alone
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
- Resistance to changes to routine or environment
- Restricted interests
- Intense reaction to sensory stimuli
Children may not show all the signs of ASD, and some children who don’t have ASD may present some symptoms. Receiving a professional diagnosis is essential to getting your child the support and help they need.
When should I schedule an autism diagnosis for my child?
You should make an appointment with Lisa at United Therapy Center as soon as you have concerns about your child’s behavior and development.
All children develop at their own pace and grow in and out of phases. You know your child best and will recognize abnormal behavior changes. Regardless of whether the assessment results in an autism diagnosis, you learn more about your child and their needs during the process.
What happens during an autism diagnosis?
When you and your child meet with Lisa at United Therapy Center for an autism evaluation, she provides a comprehensive assessment. She reviews your child’s medical history, asking about various developmental milestones and behaviors. You can explain your concerns about your child.
Lisa spends time interacting with your child, observing their behaviors and responses to their environment and people around them. She looks for the diagnostic criteria for ASD as outlined in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) 5.
Lisa uses the DSM-5 criteria for ASD to diagnose and gauge the severity of your child’s condition. This information leads to personalized treatment plans, including counseling, speech therapy, and other support to help you adapt to your child’s needs and for your child to thrive.
Call United Therapy Center today or make an appointment for autism diagnosis online today if you have concerns about your child’s behavior or development.