Early Diagnosis of ASD

Early Diagnosis of ASD

Blue Balloon ABA
July 2022

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has become a more widely found diagnosis across the United States.

While there is not a consensus on why ASD is continuing to rise as a diagnosis, there are good theories that range from greater awareness, to better diagnosis, to genetic mutations… even environmental factors have been considered. Regardless of the reason or reasons for the rise in diagnosis of children with autism, experts stress that it is important for parents to have early screenings for ASD and, if their child shows any symptoms, to take swift action to ensure the best opportunity for support and development.

Research indicates that early diagnosis is critically important.

Parents and caregivers should be aware of some of the earliest signs of autism. Behaviors of concern include:

  • regression (loss of) of previously achieved language milestones, including babbling;
  • lack of pretend play, or even imitative play
  • lack of pointing or even looking toward where another is pointing
  • lack of response to one’s name, or decreasing response to their name


Once concern is raised, the diagnosis is dependent on further assessment by an individual or team specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There is no single test that is diagnostic of autism. In order to have a diagnosis of Autism, an individual must satisfy the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5.

Historically, the basic triad of impairments underlying Autism has included:

  • impairment of social interaction,
  • impairment of communication, and
  • restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior.


The Benefits of Early Intervention

There is no cure for ASD and there’s no consensus on what causes it. However, everyone agrees that the earlier intervention begins for children with ASD, the more dramatic of a difference it can make in their lives. Treatment will draw upon a myriad of supportive tools to empower not only the child suffering with ASD but their family members who are there for them and are critical in reinforcing lessons learned.   

Early Evaluation

A medical evaluation is recommended to determine if there is a specific, diagnosable medical condition that is associated with autistic behaviors or whether there are medical conditions commonly associated with autism (e.g. seizure disorder) that require further evaluation and treatment.

As part of a comprehensive assessment, audiological evaluation is imperative.

Caring for a child with autism can be challenging for parents and families, but with the right strategies and support for their child, treatment can reduce the effects of ASD on everyone, and help the child thrive. With an earlier diagnosis and therefore earlier introduction to treatment, children with ASD can achieve statistically significant gains and optimal therapeutic results.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has become a more widely found diagnosis across the United States, and while there is not a consensus on why ASD is continuing to rise as a diagnosis, there is good reason to believe that an earlier diagnosis and treatment intervention, results in a more positive outcome, with statistically significant gains for the child on the spectrum.


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