5 Things to Know About Diagnosing Autism

Autism Screening and Diagnosis: What to Know

Autism—or autism spectrum disorder—is a group of developmental disorders of the brain. People with ASD have social, communication, language and behavioral problems. Autism is a spectrum because these problems can range from mild to severe.

About 3.5 million Americans live with some form of autism, according to the Autism Society. Symptoms typically appear in early childhood. Parents often seek medical advice when they notice something isn’t quite right with their child. However, it may take some time before a diagnosis is final. Doctors also screen for developmental problems throughout infancy and toddlerhood.

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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about DSM-5. Autism Speaks.