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There is no medical test a child can take to determine if she has autism. Instead, health professionals make a diagnosis by observing whether or not the child has age-related behaviors and skills. For instance, is a two-year old using two-word phrases (“want juice!”) to get what she wants? Or does a toddler point to objects and look at her mother’s eyes? Health professionals also look at behavior that may be occurring too often. For example, does he tantrum easily when he cannot get what he wants? Does he move his body or hands in a repetitive manner?Many of these signs aren’t worrisome when they appear on their own, but a combination of difficulties in communication, socialization and behaviors may indicate an ASD. These signs can usually be recognized by the time a child is three, but may appear much sooner, when the child is a toddler.
If unsure whether your child has an ASD, but you feel like something is wrong, see your pediatrician as soon as possible. Here are some pointers to get the most out of your doctor’s visit:
Talk to your pediatrician right away if you have concerns.
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