This article originally appeared in The Autism Advocate blog at

Getting a diagnosis – if indeed a child has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – as early as possible is important because research shows that early intervention is the best intervention. Yet, not all pediatricians recognize the early signs of a possible ASD.

Although diagnosis rates of autism are up, this does not mean that all doctors or medical professionals are aware of the different signs of autism in different types of babies and toddlers. A diagnosis is made by observing the behavioral characteristics in three areas : communication, social interactions, and imaginative play or thought. As there are no physical characteristics that are shared by those in the spectrum, and there is a wide range of abilities and disabilities – it is not always easy to identify.

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