Autism is a neural disorder wherein the neural development is stunted and is characterized by an impairment of both social communications and general interactions. Autism causes the connections between the nerves to function ineffectively, severely affecting the processing of information in the brain. The autism spectrum has two other disorders, namely, Asperger's Syndrome and Persuasive Development Disorder. Autism, however, is the most common of the three disorders in the autism spectrum.
Autism is closely linked to the agents that cause birth defects. In fact, it is known that most people who suffer from autism, develop it right from birth. In a tender age, it is not advisable to label a child with a disorder of the autism spectrum. However, in order to start with the treatment, it is important to first have a proper diagnosis. The earlier a child is diagnosed with the disorder, the sooner proper interventions can begin.
Autism testing involves an evaluation of several behavioral areas. Clinicians rely very heavily on the observation of the child's behavior and interpersonal interactions. The characteristics of autism are usually obvious in the first few months of the child's life. Most of the tests for autism look for problems in the area of communication or socialization. If they have a restricted behavior or have problems forming meaningful relationships, these are apparent even before a child is of the age of 3.
There are two stages of autism tests. In the first stage, a lot of health checks are performed on the child. In the second stage, a more comprehensive evaluation is conducted by a team that is multidisciplinary.
The initial checks include a screening for normal developmental attributes. The doctor may also review photographs and home videos of the family for making a diagnosis. The doctor will perhaps also need to know when your child reached certain developmental milestones. There are several screening instruments that can help the doctors gather information with relative ease.
Some of the tools included in the autism spectrum tests are Checklist for Autism in Toddlers and a Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. These checklists contain a list of characteristics and developmental milestones that have to be evaluated. In older children, the Screening Tool for Autism for Two Year Olds and a Questionnaire for Social Communication are used. These include questionnaires for parents along with certain activity-based reporting, wherein the children are asked to perform activities while the doctor observes them.
For adults, these days an online autism test is available. However, the results of the tests should be first corroborated with a general practitioner.