Diagnosing Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder can be very difficult as there is no medical test (like a blood test) that can confirm the diagnosis.
The entire diagnosis is based on the child’s development and behaviour and when the child is very young the parent will need to talk the doctor through the challenges the child faces daily.
The current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) governs the criteria for making an ASD diagnosis. Any Development Paediatrician, Psychologist or Psychiatrist can use the DSM guidelines with whatever method they choose to make an effective diagnosis.
Some use Development Screening: Development Screening is a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should be – or if there is a delay in development.
Others use the ADOS System: ADOS which stands for Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule has in recent years become very popular. ADOS involves making direct observations under controlled circumstances.