Autism is usually diagnosed during the early years of childhood. Diagnosis is based upon the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which is the main diagnostic reference for mental health disorders in the United States. The diagnosis is typically based on clinical observation, caregiver report and history. Certain structured assessments that pull for characteristics typically associated with autism may assist in making the diagnosis.
Presently, there is no specific laboratory test for ASD. However, several behavioral and developmental screening and assessment tools may provide data helpful in making the clinical diagnosis of an ASD. Examples of diagnostic tools sometimes used are:
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