Autism Diagnosis: Testing Methods and How They Work

Autism Diagnosis: Testing Methods and How They Work

According to the CDC, approximately one in fifty-four American children is diagnosed with autism. And, these numbers are rising. Plus, many adults who weren’t previously diagnosed with autism are being diagnosed later in life.

But, how is autism testing conducted? Read on to learn about different testing methods for an autism diagnosis.

Testing at Home

Autism testing, especially when it comes to adults, often starts with suspicions in the home. A parent may notice signs of autism in their child. Or, an adult may see discussions of autism online or on social media, and relate to some of what’s mentioned.

In that case, you can look for an online guide to autism diagnosis criteria. This can give you a stronger idea as to whether you should make an appointment with a professional for further testing.

Developmental Assessment

The first autism screenings for children are usually done by doctors in their early childhood. Most children are evaluated for autism at least a few times as toddlers, and children who are more at risk for autism may be evaluated even more frequently.

Interview Screening

For older children and adults, autism testing usually begins with an interview process. There are several different ways this interview testing can be conducted. 

During the interview, the doctor will ask about your behaviors and how you go about your day. Adults will usually be asked to fill out a self-assessment of their behaviors. Your social and emotional skills will be discussed and evaluated, to see if they’re consistent with a diagnosis of autism.

Cognitive functioning testing could also be included in your autism evaluation if you feel it’s appropriate.

Past Relevant Records

A thorough interview may also be supplemented by looking at past records. For children, this will usually involve reviewing report cards and past medical records. They’ll consider previous teachers’ perceptions of the child and look for the possibility of autistic behaviors that have previously gone unnoticed.

For adults, some records that might be relevant for your possible adult autism diagnosis include previous genetic testing or sleep study analysis. Medical records or legal records could also be relevant, especially if you’ve talked to relevant professionals before.

While no autism testing method can be 100% accurate, using a combination of different methods can help make sure that you get the most accurate diagnosis possible to help you live your life to the fullest.

If your assessor finds that you likely don’t have autism, there may be other options you might want to explore. You might want to consider looking into ADHD assessments, which could explain some behaviors that are similar to autism.

Autism Diagnosis Testing Methods: Now You Know

Hopefully, you now have a fuller understanding of testing methods for an autism diagnosis. It’s not as scary as you might have previously thought!

Are you wondering if you have autism or another condition? Consider making an appointment for autism testing with us today.