Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource

 Browse alphabetically
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Childhood Vaccinations
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Healthy Skin
High Blood Pressure
Kidney Health
Low Testosterone NEW!
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features

Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Mental Health > Health Features > Understanding Autism > Autism: the road from suspicion to diagnosis
Mental Health
Anxiety disorders
Attention deficit disorder
Death and dying
Sleep disorders
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Research news
Stressed? Depressed? Can't sleep? This channel provides information on diagnosis, treatment, and advice and strategies for coping with illnesses related to mental health.
Mental Health resources
Related channels
Health features
Health tools
Support groups
Related conditions
Natural products
Discussion forums

Understanding Autism

Autism: the road from suspicion to diagnosis

Autism: the road from suspicion to diagnosis

As parents, you should observe your child and note if once-normal learned behavior has begun to regress. If so, you should bring it to the attention of your child's doctor as soon as possible. There are also 3 main areas that you should pay attention to if you suspect that your child may have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD):

  • social problems, such as not responding to you, not making eye contact with you, and always wanting to be alone
  • behavioural problems, such as repetitively rocking their body or flapping their arms, crying or laughing for no reason, or tantrums
  • language problems, such as not being able to make sentences, having a flat or singsong tone, or slowly stopping talking altogether

In addition, the Canadian Autism Intervention Research Network (CAIRN) has put together some guidelines for what should be involved in the physical assessment process. As part of the guidelines for making a diagnosis, your child's doctor may ask you questions such as:

  • Has your child's head gotten larger or smaller?
  • Are you starting to notice that your child has more erratic sleeping patterns, trouble going to the bathroom, or a hard time controlling their bladder?
  • Is your child starting to show signs of hearing or vision problems?

You can use some of these guidelines beforehand to help you observe your child more closely and know what to tell your child's doctor.

Because autism is a complex condition that exhibits a wide variety of symptoms and degrees of severity, making a diagnosis can be difficult. If your doctor agrees with your concern about autism, he or she will refer you and your child to specialists, who will start arranging a series of autism screening and comprehensive tests to make a diagnosis. These tests will depend on your child's age, and children as early as 18 months can show early signs of autism and get tested.

If your child is not diagnosed with autism, your doctor may also want to rule out other mental health or genetic disorders that have symptoms similar to those of ASD. These include Landua-Keffler syndrome (LKS), phenylketonuria (PKU), tuberous sclerosis, and fragile X syndrome.

If your child is diagnosed with autism, try to stay calm, plan out next steps, and acknowledge that this is a positive step towards helping your child. Instead of channelling your energy into fear and anxiety, try to channel your energy positively to get your child on the road to treatment.

Understanding Autism

What are autism spectrum disorders?

Autism: the road from suspicion to diagnosis

After the diagnosis of autism

Getting help and support for a child with autism



Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2015 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.