If you fear that your child has autism, you should set up an appointment with a child psychiatrist. These professionals are medical doctors who have received additional training in how the mind works. Therefore, they are the perfect medical provider to contact when you are looking to rule out autism.
What is the Autism Spectrum?
Instead of autism being one disease, children with autism fall along a spectrum caused by differences in the brain. Gastrointestinal issues are eight times more common in a person with autism than in the general population. About 33% of people with autism have epilepsy while that number is less than 2% of the public. Over 70% of people with autism have feeding issues. At least 50% of people with autism have chronic insomnia or a related disorder. Approximately 50% of people with autism also have attention-deficit-hyperactivity challenges while that number is closer to 7% in the public. Finally, about 42% of people with autism experience anxiety.
How Do Psychiatrists Diagnose Autism?
There is no medical test that can prove autism. Therefore, it is essential to work with an experienced provider.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children receive screenings when they are six, 18, 24 and 30 months old to ensure that they develop normally. This screening compares the child to what their peers are doing in each age group.
More Formal Evaluation
If the caretaker has concerns, a more formal evaluation may be necessary. During this procedure, the child psychiatrist may watch the child move and give them puzzles to solve. Additionally, the psychologist may ask the caregivers questions.
Benefits of Early Intervention
If the child shows signs of being delayed, the psychiatrist may recommend professionals work with the child at an early age. This intervention often includes family services, occupational therapy, hearing specialists and educational professionals. These services usually take place in the home for children under four. There are many benefits of early intervention for children with autism, including:
• Improving overall development
• Improving social skills
• Improving coping skills
• Improving caretaker-child relationships
• Improving the quality of life
If you suspect your child is not developing typically, reach out to us today. Early intervention often produces outstanding results because it is when the mind is most pliable.