Diagnosing ASD

By Monique Lonergan
Posted July 26, 2014

We have no definitive diagnosis of autism for our daughter but in researching it we have found that everything we have been telling the doctors since she was 18 months old points to her having it. My question how do I get a diagnosis and the help to deal with it.


Answered:  August 7, 2014 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Autism Research Institute offers a diagnostic checklist called Form E-2.  The full description and associated free diagnostic services can be found on the ARI website.  In addition, ARI also has an Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) that will allow you to take the ATEC profile.

While ATEC is not a diagnostic test, it will, however, give you and any physician you consult a very good inventory of the problems you have noted with your daughter.  With those details you can start learning and taking steps.  You do not need to fit some precise criteria in order to consider different treatment options.  A diagnostic label might be needed farther down the road, but what you need now is some good choices for clarifying your daughter's problems and starting to address them.

Autism360 is another great resource.  By creating an account and entering your daughter’s profile on Autism360, you will see what other similar children have done to get better.  Many of the most effective steps can be safely undertaken on your own. You can, moreover, reach out to parents of children like yours on Autism360’s Connect with Others. The help of other parents is one of the best resources that you will encounter.

Keep in mind that the symptoms used to define or diagnose autism date back to the 1940's and have not changed much since then.  However, our understanding of its biochemistry, immunology and toxicology has changed a lot. Those changes have to do with the recognition that children in this spectrum often have digestive and immune system abnormalities that can be addressed with diet-based interventions.

You will find ideas about these interventions here on Autism360 as well as on the ARI website where you may find a video of a talk entitled "It’s Not That Complicated."  In addition, please see Ask Autism360’s previous posting on Test for Autism.

All the best



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As a caregiver for autistic children it amazes me how uninformed many parents are about their child's illness and needs. I am so happy to hear that you are taking up your child's cause. Be their best advocate. Educate yourself as best you can and remember the doctor works for you. Before you visit with him or her, gather all the input you can from those around you who work with your child. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS as a parent. Diane