Who Should Be Screened for ASD?

If you are concerned that your child may have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), your first step should be to obtain a professional screening as soon as possible. But you might not be certain precisely how to determine whether or not your child displays any of the symptoms of the disorder. If any of the following things are true of your child, you may want to consider scheduling a screening. 

Your child is missing important developmental milestones.  

As they develop, children tend to hit certain milestones at certain ages. By the time of their first birthday, children should be able to gesture and babble; by 16 months, single words should emerge; by their second birthday, they should be able to use simple phrases on their own. Additionally, by 12 months, your child should often seek your attention and share their experiences with you by pointing out items of interest in their environment or looking to you as a means of identifying how they should respond to a novel situation (e.g. social referencing). If your child misses any of these milestones, they may need a screening for ASD.  

Your child is regressing after reaching milestones.  

If your child is having difficulty using certain language or social skills after already achieving them, it’s a definite warning sign. For example, if your child seems to be having difficulty using words or gestures to express him or herself after being able to do so previously, you should consider having an ASD screening in addition to a medical screening.  

Your child has a sibling who has ASD.  

If your child has a sibling with ASD or another developmental disorder, it’s important to watch carefully for any warning signs of ASD. If you notice any similar symptoms arise at any stage of development, you may want to have your child screened by a professional for ASD.  

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