Depends on location. Assuming you're an adult, you may find it hard even in large urban areas to find an expert. Getting someone to give you that label is not nearly as important as finding someone who can clarify your concerns and help figure out how to ease the problems you're having. There is no cure for asd. Find a psychologist or psychiatrist with a good reputation and start there.
Insurance company. Call your insurance company to ask for a psychologist who does ASD evaluation.
This there really an autism spectrum disorder epidemic, or are doctors just labeling people with that name?
No there is more. It is true that there is more recognition now than before, but you can't account for the increase just by more vigilant diagnosis. If you talk to older pediatricians and family doctors they will tell you they used to see maybe 2 or 3 kids with autism their whole time in training. Now it is estimated to be 1 out of 88 kids (1 out of 54 boys, and 1 out of 252 girls).
Autism. Is up 6000% in the last 20 years. It has increased from 1:150 to 1:60 (according to some statistics) and it affects boys 4:1 to girls. It is not the result of better diagnosing or improved reporting. It is a problem.
Complicated. The spectrum came about as a new umbrella that includes not only Autism, but Aspergers & Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified. The PDDNOS label was the "everything else" label. This was helpful to the kids, whose therapies were often similar, & schools would now receive consistent funding for their care. They were there, just not included in early numbers. There is also an increase.
Nurse just called to set up appointment for my son. How do I tell him he might have autism spectrum disorder and needs to see doctor?
State your concerns. Without knowing the age of your child and what specific behaviors you've noticed to make you concerned, it's hard to give detailed advice, but it's always appropriate and helpful to let doctors know in advance why you want your child to be seen. The doctor might change the length of visit or even suggest that you see someone else with more specific expertise.
Don't use diagnosis. Depending on his age, it might be better to not mention the diagnosis, but motivate him by telling him that you want to do some testing to determine if there are some ways (training, medication, counseling) that could help him be more successful in school, with friends, etc. (choosing areas of his life that he knows are out of balance and in which he would like relief). Better to avoid labeling.
Depends on age. What you tell a child depends on age &ability 2 understand. Most young autistic patients won't understand explanation- language is their problem. Older pdd pts sense they're different, but again the explanation depends mostly on the individual. This is something accomplished with doctor's help &guidance. You also seem to be getting ahead of yourself. Tell the child he will be visiting dr 2 play, .
Neurodevelopmental. Neuro-developmental problems like autism spectrum are just that developmental problems and should not be thought of as pathology. We have yet to understand enough about the pathology of the brain/mind to even have a specific test for these disorders. An extremely important part of intervention is psycho-educational counseling for both the parents and child.
Nurse just called to set up appointment for my daughter. How do I tell her she might have autism spectrum disorder and needs to see doctor?
Depends on her age. Generally, telling your daughter that she will see the doctor to find out how to help her be the best person she can be is enough. Depending on her age and symptoms, you can mention that the doctor can help to find out why these issues are occurring and see what to do to help.
Simple is better. If your child is like most at this juncture, she will not understand elaborate explanations so describing a simple concern is best. If her issues result in classroom problems, or the teachers have asked you to set up the visit, tell her so. A simple, we want to see if there are ways to help you in the classroom is true and specific. Adults anticipate long term worries kids aren't able to grasp.
Just like you said. You can just say what you said here to the nurse. You might want to do some research first about the behaviors or autism so when you meet with the doctor you can explain why you think this is the case. Your local doctor might not feel comfortable making this diagnosis, and may want your daughter to see somebody who specializes in making this diagnosis.
Not really. Head trauma can create injury severe enough to cause behaviors that may seem similar to those with autism. It does not cause autism itself. Autism has brain inflammation as a component and digestive issues. Mild head trauma will not lead to autism. Repeated head injures can lead to Parkinson's and dementia later...Not autism.
Not likely. While there are case reports of major personality changes occuring with some children after severe head injuries, this would be considered a rare occurance. And then probably not technically autism, since you usually will have to show signs of autism as a child to fulfil the true criteria of autism.
If an adult was suspicious that they have an autism spectrum disorder; what's the way to get diagnosed?
See a psychologist. They will do a complete evaluation, including psycholological testing, which will almost always give the correct answer.
Also. They can apply for ssi, which will provide an assessment, or your state's vocational rehabilitation agency, which will assess current functioning & needs. Of course, complete neuropsychological and psychiatric evaluations are optimal, if funding is not an issue.
Consult. I recommend you consult a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist for an evaluation.
My son is allergic to a vaccine but I don't know which one. He has mild end autism spectrum disorder. If he is sensitive to vaccines can he get a flu shot?
Probably. His autistic issues have nothing whatsoever to do with immunizations. Ask the doctor to what vaccine he is sensitive and if not eggs, give him the flu shot.
A Dr with Experience. Many specialties deal with this area. Some pediatricians, some psychiatrists, some family doctor, but some drs don't deal with this at all. A new professional group called maps (medical academy of pediatric special needs) focuses on this problem.. Talk to other parents who have children on the spectrum and find out who they have found to be helpful. Check parent support groups taca, & autism one.
Your regular doctor. Your regular, primary care physician, such as your family medicine doctor, your pediatrician, your adolescent medicine doctor, or your internist, is the best place to begin. She will be able to begin the evaluation process, answer many of your questions, decide if you need to see specialist such as a developmental pediatrician, a geneticist, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, or a team of experts.
Seek treatment. Early recognition and early intervention are key to the successful management of these young children. They frequently respond to the use of pediatric experienced occupational and speech therapists. As they get to age 3 years the proper school environment is very important. Applied behavior analysis can be very helpful with difficult behaviors. Remeber that their are support groups present to help.
I'd choose a pedia- Trician who provides aap- recommended developmental surveillance with standardized screening tests & autism-specific screening at 18 & 24 mos. If impaired social communication & reciprocity were seen at any age, i'd seek a diagnosis from a developmental/behavioral pediatrician & child neuropsychologist & begin early start denver model therapy or other intensive behavioral intervention asap.
Contact. Contact other parents to get recommendation of the best specialists, schools and resources in your area.
Interchangeable. There's no difference between those terms. Spectrum Disorder is simply a newer classification term referring to a family of disorders. The same is implied by saying someone simply has "autism." You are not specifying which behavioral problem they have....just generally saying there is a particular behavior/personality disorder which is recognized with this GROUP of problems.
Autistic symptoms. Manifest to varying degrees, Mild (sometimes called "high functioning" is at one end of the spectrum and more pronounced symptoms at the other end w/lots of folks somewhere in between. One view of where autism comes from can be seen at the great plains laboratory website. They look at it from a metabolic point of view and test for it. Peace and good health.
Lump vs. Split. Some people like to lump things together into similar categories (this time funding sources). I like to use the analogy of abdominal pain, some would have appendicitis (specific=autism) while others may just have lots of vague symptoms that are not specific to appendicitis (spectrum). With ASD, however, the issues are long term and quite significant.