3 min · Special Needs
July 26, 2023

How Autism is Diagnosed: The Stages, Symptoms, and Treatments

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism is a type of autistic spectrum disorder. The reason it is studied under spectrum is that not every individual shows every symptoms. While some show every accepted symptom, others have these mildly.

How is ASD diagnosed?

Consulting to an expert is essential for diagnosis. However, before seeing a doctor, some symptoms should be seen in the child. In light of these observed symptoms, they should be taken to specialists on the topic. Not every doctor is authorized to diagnose autism.

Clinical observation

There is no medical test that can detect autism spectrum disorder. That makes diagnosis of ASD a little difficult. However, there are many tools that clinicians can use certain tools like observing behaviors of the child to diagnose autism.

Clinicians ask questions to parents and caregivers as well as those who spend time with the child and ask questions about their developmental levels.

Developmental screening

There is a short test that clinicians use to screen the child. This screening test can indicate whether the child should be looked at more closely.

A trained specialist like a child psychologist usually conducts the developmental screening test. Throuhg this test, they ask questions to the caregivers as well.

The diagnosis process

Your child may seem like a normal child from the outside, but some of his behaviors are the thing that determines he has autism or not. During diagnosis, experts observe the child for certain amount of time and put them into some developmental tests. Parents should also closely keep track of development process of their children. Because they can notice what doctors can sometimes miss, since they spent a lot more time together with their children.

autism signs

The child can be diagnosed with autism around 12 months of age. Diagnosis at early age would be beneficial for both the child and his parents. This way families can figure out sooner how they can help their child’s development more easily. Also, receiving special education is useful for the child to adapt life.

In Turkey, child mental health experts and neurologists can diagnose autism in children. Child mental health experts evaluate mental health of the child. They observe certain behavior of the child and interview the parents. It is of importance to correctly evaluate the child in line with autism diagnosis. Medical examination is also carried out by this expert. They can recommend medical examination or pharmacotherapy if necessary. However, this treatment is not autism treatment. There is no cure for autism found to this date. Medication help balance out some extreme behavior of the child. They also can be used as a support in child’s education.

Although individuals with autism are thought to have limited learning capacity, they can show high levels of development. Going to doctor check-ups once or twice a year is necessary to observe this and determine if there should be a change in this developmental process.

autism diagnosis infographic

Child neurologists can be seen to examine brain vessels and neurons and autism diagnosis. Some children with autism may have seizures. However, it is a rare occasion. Some disorders that are not thought the child has due to autism may be determined by neurologists with tests. These kinds of tests are not essential except the doctor sees fit. Unnecessary tests would tire both the children and their parents.

If your child has not diagnosed with autism yet, you can go to hospitals that have child mental health and disease department for check-up. You can also choose public hospitals of Ministry of Health. These public hospitals house child mental health experts or child neurologists.

You need to get a report from a hospital that has Disable Health Board for the child who is diagnosed with autism. If you are suspicious that your child might have autism, you need to observe for certain symptoms. If the child is not making eye contact, not responding when his name is called, pretends to not hear what is being said, cannot discover how to play with toys and play games his peers are playing, repeating words and using them in the wrong place, rocking back and forth, fixates on a certain point, you should consult to an expert.


This article is examined by Clinical Child Psychologist and Ph. D. Researcher Kevser Çakmak, and produced by Otsimo Editorial Team.

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This post does not provide medical advice. See Additional Information.