If you are just pursuing an autism diagnosis for your child or you are in the beginning stages, here’s how to understand the autism diagnosis process. Be sure to take a look at more of my resources for dealing with the initial diagnosis.
Tests and Evaluations for the Autism Diagnosis Process
In the last ten years, there have been a multitude of new tests and evaluations for autism spectrum disorder. Some were designed to help with the screening or diagnosis while others were developed for gathering information for individuals already on the spectrum.
The ones that I want to talk about are the ones that are most widely and readily available:
|Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale (ASDS)||Questionnaire||2001|
|Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC)||Questionnaire||1978|
|Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R)||Semi-structured interview||2003|
|Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS)||Direct Assessment||2000|
|Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI)||Direct Assessment||2000|
|Autism Spectrum Rating Scale||Questionnaire||2010|
|Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire||Questionnaire||1999|
|Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT)||Questionnaire and Direct Assessment||1992|
|Childhood Autism Rating Scale – Second Edition (CARS2)||Questionnaire||2010|
|Early Screening for Autism and Communication Disorders (ESAC)||Questionnaire||2009|
|Early Screening of Autistic Traits (ESAT)||Questionnaire||2006|
|Gilliam Asperger Disorder Scale (GADS)||Questionnaire||2001|
|Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, 2nd Edition (GARS-2)||Questionnaire||2006|
|Infant Toddler Checklist (ITC)||Questionnaire||2002|
|Krug Asperger’s Disorder Index (KADI)||Questionnaire||2003|
|Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)||Questionnaire||2001|
|Pervasive Developmental Disorders Screening Test- 2 (PDDST-II)||Series of questionnaires||2004|
|Screening Tools for Autism in Two Year Olds (STAT)||Direct assessment||2000|
|Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)||Questionnaire||2003|
|Social Responsiveness Scale||Questionnaire||2002|
A General Timeline for the Autism Diagnosis Process
There is generally a three step process when it comes to evaluating for autism.
- There is a concern (pediatrician, caregiver, family member, teacher, etc.)
- Referral (a parent, healthcare professional or therapist contacts someone who is qualified to do an evaluation)
- Evaluation and recommendation (the evaluation is conducted and recommendations are made
In addition the diagnostic tests listed above, there are additional elements that go into an evaluation:
- hearing screening
- developmental/cognitive screening
- speech/language assessment
- parent interviews
- child observations
- genetic testing
For my daughter, we had her developmental screening, child observation in the developmental pediatrician’s office, and she also underwent blood work.
Of those? The blood work traumatized her for life. To the point where entering a doctor’s office is difficult.
I can still remember her observation and the sinking feeling in my stomach as the developmental pediatrician watched. There had been suspicions, certainly. But to see them coming to light and manifesting? It really wasn’t until then that we started to realize that something truly was not right.
Making Sense of the Autism Diagnosis with My New Diagnosis Toolkit
In my new autism diagnosis toolkit, I am including a checklist, printable timeline, and several other resources. These are the things I’d wish I’d had when my daughter was first diagnosed.