Parents who suspect that their child has autism spectrum disorder or who feel that their child exhibits difficulties that warrant a professional evaluation may wonder where to take their child for a professional assessment. Does the child need an immediate assessment by a specialist? What type of specialist makes the diagnosis? These questions can leave a parent feeling confused and like no one understands their many concerns.
The professionals at EMIT Therapeutics understand the concerns of parents when a child has autism spectrum disorder. Reach out to EMIT Therapeutics to learn more about treatment and resources for children with autism spectrum disorder today at 844.983.0240.
Who Can Diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) consists of a complex group of developmental disorders that can result in comprehensive challenges for the child and their entire family. A child with ASD may exhibit repetitive, characteristic behaviors. They may also have multiple difficulties with communications, daily functioning, and socialization.
The characteristic patterns of behaviors exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorder vary from one child to the next. Unfortunately, that likely makes diagnosis difficult in many cases. Another difficulty in making the diagnosis is that there are no blood tests or specific medical tests that a primary care physician can use to make the autism diagnosis.
Yet, the first step to diagnosing autism spectrum disorder starts with the child’s doctor. Often, parents that take their children for their regularly-scheduled well-child visit answer a series of questions asked by the doctor. The doctor may ask questions that focus on several areas, including:
- The baby’s overall development and loss of skills that the child once had
- The child’s social interactions
- Language development that includes one word spoken by 16 months and two words by age two
- Poor eye contact
- Demonstrating repetitive speech or actions
- Inflexible adherence or lack of adherence to specific routines
There are various other behaviors or actions that a child may express, which leads a physician to make a referral to a specialist that can diagnose autism spectrum disorder.
Specialists that Confirm a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
The primary care doctor makes a referral to a specialist when suspecting that a child has ASD. The parent may wonder why the physician makes a referral to a particular type of specialist.
A developmental pediatrician has advanced training in developmental-behavioral medicine. This specialist evaluates the child and may provide services such as treating the child and counseling the family.
The child psychiatrist specializes in diagnosing and treating thought and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. Although it is known that the brain is involved in autism spectrum disorder, child psychiatrists do not treat organic or structural disorders of the brain.
A child psychologist is qualified to treat autism spectrum disorder. A child psychologist has a Ph.D., which is a doctorate degree. The psychologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating children with ASD often has experience using various psychometric evaluative measures. These measures include the Autism Diagnostic Inventory-Revised (ADI-R), the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), or the Autism Behavioral Checklist (ABC).
The ideal treatment that a child receives is an individualized treatment plan, like the ones we provide at EMIT Therapeutics.
Learn More About Individualized Treatment at EMIT Therapeutics
EMIT Therapeutics provides a variety of individualized treatments based on the needs of every child. We provide treatment to children as young as 18 months old.
Contact us today at 844.983.0240, or by completing our online form to learn more about autism spectrum disorder treatment, the programs, and resources provided by the caring team at EMIT Therapeutics.