Symptoms of Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can start to appear in children when they are as young as 18 months of age, and sometimes even sooner. It’s not always a clear-cut case so early in their lives, however. Sometimes, symptoms can reveal themselves later into their childhood, as skill development seems to slow down, or some previously developed skills start to fade away altogether. In 2016, it was estimated by the CDC that roughly 1 in 54 children of the age of 8 were affected by ASD. So if you suspect that your child may be part of that statistic, it may be time to start looking into an ASD evaluation.
When is it Time for an ASD Evaluation?
Like ADHD diagnoses, it’s important to realize upfront that there is no definitive test that offers us a clear binary answer to whether a child is affected by Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder. That’s why it is important to look out for the most common symptoms throughout your child’s development.
Common ASD Symptoms in Younger Children (~6 Years Old)
- Failure to respond to their name
- Reluctance to smile back after you smile at them
- Failure to maintain eye contact
- Repetitive hand or body movements
- Minimal verbal communication
- Repetitive speech/ phrases
Common ASD Symptoms in Older Children
- Difficulty describing emotions
- Taking statements literally
- Difficulty socializing with peers
- Focused interest on specific topics or activities
- Difficulty straying from daily routines
If you are beginning to notice these symptoms throughout your child’s development, it’s crucial to receive a diagnostic evaluation from an expert, such as a neuropsychologist. These symptoms can impact performance in school and diminish their quality of life if left unaddressed.
Choosing an Expert Practitioner
Because there is no single way to provide a blanket ASD diagnosis, experienced neuropsychologists use thorough assessments before arriving at a diagnosis. These assessments factor in items such as:
- A full history of previous and current functioning
- Information gathered from loved ones and teachers
- Executive functioning
- Social skills
- Language and literacy
- Motor development
When you choose Reflect Neuropsychology for your child’s Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder evaluation, you can be sure that no stone will be left unturned throughout the diagnosis process. Our team of licensed neuropsychologists has extensive experience working with individuals of all ages and phases of life to provide accurate diagnoses. After the assessment, it may become clear that your child is on the ASD spectrum, or perhaps that another factor, such as an adjustment disorder, is the reason for the reported symptoms. Regardless of our findings, our efforts after the evaluation will shift toward helping shape a plan forward for you and your child to prepare them for the bright future ahead.
Schedule Your Child’s Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder Evaluation with Reflect Neuropsychology
Reflect Neuropsychology is a leading neuropsychology firm in Southern California, specializing in counseling, therapy and neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents and adults. We can also address your medicolegal needs and provide expert witness testimony, legal examination of medical records, and independent medical examinations for capacity assessments and more. As a highly specialized practice, we can focus on evidence-based, personally tailored treatment and evaluation. To learn more about our services and schedule an appointment, visit us online or call us at (818) 324-3800.