Autism Diagnosis

(Also Known As: Atism Diagnosis, Autistic Diagnosis, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Diagnosis, Autistic Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

How is Autism Diagnosed?

In order to properly diagnose autism, the following diagnostic factors must be met:

  • At least six (6) of the symptoms in items 1-3, with at least two (2) from item 1, and at least one (1) from items 2 and 3.
  • Significant impairment in social interaction, as shown by at least two (2) of the following:
    • Great difficulty in the use of various non-verbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expressions, body gestures and postures to control or adjust social interaction
    • Failure to develop peer-to-peer relationship at the appropriate developmental level
    • A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievement with other people
    • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
  • Significant impairment in communication, as shown by at least one (1) of the following:
    • Delay in or total lack of the development of spoken language
    • In people with adequate speech there is a great difficulty in initiating or sustaining conversation with others.
    • Stereotyped or repetitive use of language or peculiar language
    • Lack of varied spontaneous make-believe or imitative play at the appropriate developmental level.
  • Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, as shown by at least one (1) of the following:
    • Extreme preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted areas of interest that is abnormal in intensity or focus
    • Inflexible adherence or obedience to specific nonfunctional routines or rituals
    • Repetitive and stereotyped motor mannerisms (i.e. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
    • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
  • Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one (1) of the following areas, with onset before the age of three (3) years: a.) social interaction, b.) language as used in social communication, or c.) symbolic or imaginative play.
  • The symptoms cannot be better explained by Rett’s Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

Could You Have Autism?

Autism Topics

Related Conditions

Asperger's Syndrome – autism, deficient interaction and social skills, lacking of empathy, autistic, restricted pattern of behaviors
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – delay in language and motor skills, autism, lack of social functions
Rett's Disorder – repetitive movements, cognitive impairment, autism, problem with social skills