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The diagnostic process of ASD although complex

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The diagnostic process of ASD although complex, can be done as early as the second year of life. This article discussed the diagnostic process  in young toddlers and infants as well as the early symptoms of ASD among these age groups. Diagnosis of ASD in toddlers is based on assessment in many areas: verbal and nonverbal developmental skills, social communication and interaction skill, presence of atypical motor and sensory behaviors, adaptive levels of functioning and a careful review of the child’s health, development, and family history. The result of all of these assessments helps to create an individualized plan for the child. This individualized plan will benefit the child greatly because it allows for intensive early intervention services.

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Toddlers with ASD will show delays across multiple areas of development. Their verbal skills are often more delayed than nonverbal skills. Their ability to respond to speech is more delayed than their ability to produce sounds and words. They will often show delays in expressive language.  As far as social skills, children with ASD show a lack of interest in the social world. Rhythmic and repetitive behaviors are often common, such as arranging objects in a specific manner, or having a strict routine.

In reading through this article it is clear that more awareness is being brought to not only diagnosing children at younger ages but also to providing intervention services to those children in order to cater to their needs. Expanding the awareness of symptoms not only educates professionals but parents who may not know what they signs and/or symptoms are. This in turn allows the children to receive the best care they need to give them the best quality of life. “Empirical evidence suggests that ASD can be diagnosed reliably, by well-trained clinicians, as early as the second year of life and that children benefit greatly from intensive and comprehensive early intervention services.” Steiner, A. M., Goldsmith, T. R., Snow, A. V., & Chawarska, K. (2012, June).

Steiner, A. M., Goldsmith, T. R., Snow, A. V., & Chawarska, K. (2012, June). Practitioner’s guide to assessment of autism spectrum disorders in infants and toddlers. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. (Links to an external site.).

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