If your child has been late to achieve certain developmental milestones, then you may want to schedule an appointment with a developmental pediatrics office. During an initial appointment and evaluation, such a pediatrician can give you a better idea as to whether or not your child may have a developmental disorder. One diagnosis that can come out of such an appointment is that of autism. Should this be the case with your child, there are a few questions you'll want to ask the pediatrician.
Where Does He or She Fall on the Spectrum?
One of the first questions you'll want to ask is where he or she falls on the autism spectrum. Specifically, the autism spectrum can range anywhere from mild to severe, though some doctors may use different terms to describe where your child falls. For example, some may describe this in terms of function, such as "high-functioning" and "low-functioning."
What Kind of Treatment Do You Recommend?
Once you have a better idea of where your child falls on the spectrum, then you'll want to start figuring out what kinds of treatment will be the most appropriate and beneficial for your child's needs. At the very least, your child's pediatrician may recommend that your child be put into a special program at school. However, depending on your child's position on the spectrum, he or she may even recommend moving your child into a school dedicated to autistic children.
Is There Anything That Can Be Done at Home?
It may not be possible to jump into treatment right away, but this doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't things you can do at home to help your child out. Ask about what kinds of changes you can make around the house to help your child with his or her behavior. You might also want to ask the pediatrician if he or she has any recommendations for treatment providers outside of the school.
Is Applied Behavior Analysis an Option?
Finally, don't hesitate to ask about the possibility of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for your child. If this is something your child's pediatrician recommends, be sure to find out how many hours per week he or she recommends that the treatment take place. By taking the time to anticipate and ask these questions, you will be in a much better position to help your child in the event that he or she is diagnosed with autism.