If you want to receive a diagnosis, you must talk with your doctor about your concerns and they will likely refer you to a specialist for evaluation and proper testing.
If you or your child that is to be evaluated is a biological female, please be aware that it is far more difficult to receive a diagnosis than a biological male. Most females have naturally stronger emotional skills that enable them to better cope in social situations, so their symptoms are less noticeable or severe.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is diagnosed using questionnaires as opposed to specific therapeutic tests. The evaluation and testing process can vary widely among different clinics and specialists.
Parents will be required to fill out long questionnaires about their child’s behavior and development, then have their child spend several hours in one or more sessions to have their child evaluated by specialists. During this evaluation process, the child will be observed and prompted to participate in various activities with the doctors to assess their development, intelligence, abilities, and behaviors. Your doctor may also refer your child to have other tests done, such as an MRI or blood work.
For adults seeking a diagnosis, they must either see a psychologist or other mental health professional with the ability to give an official diagnosis, or they can talk to their doctor and ask for a referral.
Some adults may be led to undergo a similar procedure as children suspected of autism, while others may only need to attend counseling sessions for several months. To learn how you can receive a diagnosis, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional that specializes in autism.
The most used diagnostic criteria was created by Christopher Gillberg based on those initially created by Dr. Asperger. The rate of diagnosis using the Gillberg questionnaire is around 1 in each 250 children. This number is assumed by researchers to be about the portion of the quantity of individuals that meet the criteria for a diagnosis.
Children that over five years old can be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome with “reasonable certainty”. However, before this age, the signs and behaviors that are inside this spectrum may dissolve and cease to be an issue. A diagnosis before the age of five is in this way considered to be provisional.