Speech Therapy Frequently Asked Questions: Does my child have autism or autism spectrum disorder?
“He doesn’t speak very well, and he likes to line up his cars. Is he autistic?”
Many parents are concerned about autism when their young child has a speech and language delay. However, three criteria are needed for a diagnosis of autism: a delay in communication (verbal and non verbal), a delay in social interaction and the presence of unusual or extreme interests. For example, a child with autism may be non verbal at three years of age, have difficult relating to others, and have an extreme fascination with flapping his or her hands.
If you are concerned that your child may have autism, you should ask your child’s doctor for a referral to a pediatrician. A diagnosis of autism is made by a pediatrician or even better by a team of experienced professionals. In the Fraser Valley, we have the Fraser Health Assessment Network (FHAN). See the FHAN website for more information on how to get an assessment.