What To Know About Your Pediatrician And Getting An Autism Diagnosis

As a parent, you are one of the first to notice when your child begins to show signs that there are delays. The delays may be with speech, hearing, or with cognitive development. When you begin to notice these issues, many things come to mind. One of the things that may come to mind is autism. Before you make an appointment with your pediatrician's office to determine if autism is a probability, there are some things you need to know.

Screening Appointment

The first step in getting an autism diagnosis from your pediatrician is to have a screening appointment. This appointment is with your child's primary pediatrician and is primarily a discussion and small observation appointment. The doctor will listen to your concerns, make note of those concerns, and watch your child for certain signs of autism. These signs may be with how the child reacts in the office, how they play, or even how they speak. The screening appointment is vital for receiving a referral to continue the diagnosis process.

Professional Referral

There is a common misconception that your pediatrician will give the diagnosis of autism for your child. The truth is, your pediatrician will start the process, but they will not be the one to give a final diagnosis. The process will begin with the screening appointment and move forward into professional referrals. You will likely have a referral for speech and hearing to rule out any hearing issues that are causing the delays. You will also have referrals to a behaviorist and to a clinic that tests for autism spectrum disorder. Keep in mind that the referral is not an appointment. It is a step to getting your child the appointment they need.

Records Retrieval and Distribution

During the process of receiving an autism diagnosis, your pediatrician will be your point of contact between yourself and the additional medical professionals for records. Your pediatrician can provide a waiver form in order to make the process easier to have records ordered and sent to the various offices. This will streamline the process and help reduce delays in the other professionals receiving the documents and past appointments records they need to combine with their own testing of your child.

By keeping these key points in mind, you can be better prepared for the first pediatric appointment regarding autism and your child. You can also prepare for the pediatrician's process of determining if autism is an issue and going through the proper steps to get a final diagnosis. If you are ready to start the diagnosis process, contact your pediatrician today for an appointment.