Success with Learning Disabilities Blog

Getting help with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Why it is essential to get the correct diagnosis code.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A diagnosis of autism doesn't have to be a scary thing. With the help of a qualified professional and the right treatment for autism spectrum disorder, all children can enjoy greater happiness and success.

Diagnosing Autism takes time, testing and patience.  Getting the correct diagnosis can make all the difference when treatment options are considered, especially when services are paid for by health insurance.  The range of Autism spectrum disorders is wide and finding the right diagnosis helps differentiate between mild Aspergers disorder and severe Autism.

Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Early signs of autism include:

  • Not pointing or trying to talk by the age of one.

  • Poor eye contact.

  • Lack of responding to smiles and not answering to their name.  

As a child ages, signs of Autism spectrum disorder become more obvious.  Older children have difficulty making friends, holding a conversation and adhere to specific routines, regardless of obstacles in their way.

If a child exhibits some of the signs of an Autism spectrum disorder, parents should talk with their child's doctor first to discuss testing options. A thorough and accurate diagnosis should be an in-depth and multi-dimensional assessment, helping prioritize the challenges and how to approach those challenges. It is important that parents do not jump to any conclusions before they receive an appropriate diagnosis from a qualified healthcare professional. 

The Range of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders range from mild Aspergers that might be missed due to other disabilities taking precedence, to severe, disabling autism that is impossible to miss.  Children throughout the range are all considered in the Autism spectrum, but clearly some children need more assistance with daily life activities than others.

When children receive the correct diagnosis, all treatment providers whom are working with the child are attuned to what they are dealing with.  Each code responds to specific diagnostic criteria and so when the child has the correct code, doctors, therapist and other health care providers can fine tune the treatment the child receives.  The right treatment code gives providers information that they use to decide on treatment plans for the child and often enables a child to receive services through Developmental Disabilities. 

Autism spectrum disorders can be difficult to deal with.  It is important to remember to have patience and understand that diagnosing Autism can evolve over time.   A child may prove to be less severe than when first diagnosed, depending on their development and treatment success.

Early, intensive long-term intervention is an autistic child's best hope to learn new skills, improve behavior, and strengthen areas of weakness.  A wait and see approach with autism is futile.  Concerned about your child?  Take an online self-assessment or schedule an initial consultation today.