Your child's health care provider will look for developmental problems at regular checkups.
What you can do
To prepare for your child's appointment:
- Bring a list of any medications, including vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter medicines that your child is taking, and their dosages.
- Make a list of all the changes that you and others have observed in your child's behavior.
- Bring notes of any observations from other adults and caregivers, such as baby sitters, relatives and teachers. If your child has been evaluated by an early intervention or school program, bring this assessment.
- Bring a record of developmental milestones for your child, such as a baby book, if you have one.
- Bring a video of your child's unusual behaviors or movements, if you have one.
- Try to remember when your other children began talking and reaching developmental milestones, if your child has siblings, and share that information with the doctor.
- Be prepared to describe how your child plays and interacts with other children, siblings and parents.
- Bring a family member or friend with you, if possible, to help you remember information and for emotional support.
Make a list of questions that you want to ask your child's doctor. Questions might include:
- Why do you think my child does (or doesn't) have ASD?
- Is there a way to confirm the diagnosis?
- If my child does have ASD, is there a way to tell how severe it is?
- What changes can I expect to see in my child over time?
- What kind of special therapies or care do children with ASD need?
- How much and what kinds of regular medical care will my child need?
- What kind of support is available to families of children with ASD?
- How can I learn more about ASD?
Ask additional questions any time you don't understand something.
What to expect from your child's doctor
Your child's doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them to reserve time to go over any points you want to focus on. Your doctor may ask:
June 03, 2014
- What specific behaviors prompted your visit today?
- When did you first notice these signs and symptoms in your child? Have others noticed signs?
- Have these behaviors been continuous or occasional?
- Does your child have any other symptoms that might seem unrelated to ASD, such as stomach problems?
- Does anything seem to improve your child's symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your child's symptoms?
- When did your child first crawl? Walk? Say his or her first word?
- Does your child have delayed speech?
- What are some of your child's favorite activities? Is there one that he or she favors?
- How does your child interact with you, siblings and other children? Does your child show interest in others, make eye contact, smile or want to play with others?
- Have you noticed a change in your child's level of frustration in social settings?
- Does your child have a family history of ASD, language delay, Rett syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or anxiety or other mood disorders?
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/autism/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Volkmar F, et al. Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2014;53:237.
- LaBlanc LA, et al. Behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2012;59:147.
- Autism spectrum disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Weissman L, et al. Autism spectrum disorder in children and adolescents: Complementary and alternative therapies. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Learn the signs — Act early: Concerned. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/concerned.html. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Autism spectrum disorder. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psychiatry.org/dsm5. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- A parent's guide to autism spectrum disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/a-parents-guide-to-autism-spectrum-disorder/what-are-the-symptoms-of-asd.shtml. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Augustyn M. Terminology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Bridgemohan C. Surveillance and screening for autism spectrum disorder in primary care. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Cheuk DKL, et al. Acupuncture for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007992.pub2/abstract. Accessed March 3, 2014.
- American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement: Sensory integration therapies for children with developmental and behavioral disorders. Pediatrics. 2012;129:1186.
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): Do vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/topics.html. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Autism fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Highlights of changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psychiatry.org/dsm5. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Chelation: Therapy or "therapy"? National Capital Poison Center. http://www.poison.org/current/chelationtherapy.htm. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Patterson MC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 24, 2014.
- Tervo RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 28, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.