Rate This:Ask This About Free Autism Assessments
If you suspect your child or another adult might be on the autism spectrum, getting an assessment done is the first step in reaching a diagnosis and connecting with resources that can help autistic individuals lead a fully and happy life. However, getting an autism assessment can be an expensive process, especially for people who aren't sure whether autism is the cause of symptoms or not. In order to determine whether key signs of autism are present, there are several free autism screening assessments available online that can help you determine whether further evaluation is needed. If so, your primary care doctor or a specialist can help coordinate a full evaluation, so that a proper diagnosis can be made and resources and treatment can be accessed. Below are the eight most commonly asked questions about free autism assessments that you should know before getting started.8 Active Questions | Add a Question
No, free autism assessments are only meant to identify potential signs of autism so that you know when you should ask for a full autism evaluation. If the autism assessment indicates the possibility of autism, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about further testing.
The free autism assessments cannot diagnose or rule out autism. Only a professional can perform a full evaluation and determine whether autism is present or not. Since autism exists on a spectrum, the free autism assessments may not identify high-functioning autism. If you're still concerned after taking the autism assessment, schedule a consultation for a full evaluation.
There are several online resources for free autism screening assessments for adults. In addition, if you suspect autism is present, there are specialists available who are equipped to perform an adult evaluation to either rule out or confirm autism.
Unlike many other conditions, autism cannot be diagnosed through medical tests like blood tests, urine tests or imaging scans. Instead, autism is diagnosed through observation of behaviors or reports of behaviors by people who are close to the patient.
While getting an autism diagnosis can be scary, there are actually several advantages to receiving an official diagnosis, including having access to autism resources and treatment options that can help a person with autism live a more productive and fulfilling life.
A free screening or free assessment is only designed to indicate that signs of autism may be present, while a full assessment or evaluation will actually provide more detailed information specific to your case and can lead to a diagnosis, which indicates that the person meets the DSM-5 criteria to receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Children as young as 12 to 15 months of age can be assessed for autism if they are showing signs of the disorder. However, some children don't show signs until they are a little older, around 18 to 24 months old. For this reason, many clinicians prefer to wait until a child is 1 1/2 to two years old before doing an evaluation.
The autism assessment will ask questions about social interaction difficulties, speech and language delays, abnormal symbolic or imaginary play (hand flapping, head banging, spinning, etc.) and behavior difficulties. The answers to these questions may indicate a full evaluation for autism by a professional.