Four Types of Healthcare Professionals Who Can Diagnose Autism

Developmental disabilities are physical, learning, language, or behavioral impairments. The signs of these conditions are already noticeable during the developmental stage of a child.

Parents and pediatricians should team up in the developmental monitoring of a child’s growth. It’s imperative to see a healthcare professional when developmental delays become observable.

Four healthcare professionals can diagnose autism and other disabilities. They are:

1. Developmental Pediatrician

Developmental Pediatricians spent four years of medical school, completed a pediatric residency, and passed the Board Certification of Pediatrics. They also have subspecialty training in developmental-behavioral pediatrics.

They can assess, counsel, and treat children and adolescents with developmental and behavioral problems such as ASD. They can also work on children with:

  • Learning disorders like dyslexia
  • Attention and behavioral disorders like ADHD
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Habit Disorders like Tourette syndrome
  • Mental Retardation
  • Epilepsy and others



     2. Pediatric Neurologist

    Pediatric Neurologists are medical doctors who have residency in pediatrics and adult and pediatric neurology. They can counsel children with:

    • Febrile convulsions
    • Seizures in newborns
    • Epilepsy
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • ADHD
    • Autism
    • Sleep problems
    • Hydrocephalus and others


    3. Clinical Psychologist

    Licensed Psychologists have obtained a master’s degree in Psychology. They have undergone training in psychological interventions, psychological counseling, and psychological assessments by the usage of projective tests, clinical interviews, and psychological assessment tools. They can assess people with:

    • Anxiety disorders
    • Mood disorders
    • Schizophrenia
    • Psychotic disorders
    • Dementia
    • Eating disorders
    • ASD
    • ADHD
    • Fragile-X and others


     4. Child Psychiatrist

    Child psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating behavioral and mental concerns. They spent a year of medical internship and a 3-year residency in the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders. To devise a treatment plan for behavioral and mental disorders, they look into the biological and psychological factors of a person. They can assess clients with:

    • Neurodevelopment disorders like ASD and ADHD
    • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorder
    • Depressive Disorder
    • Anxiety Disorder
    • Feed and Eating disorder
    • Sleep-wake disorders
    • Other mental disorders

    Although these professionals can assess, treat, and counsel patients with behavioral and developmental concerns, we have to bear in mind that each of them has unique specializations. Some of them may not be able to give a comprehensive developmental assessment. Consider calling them first and express your concerns about your child. Ask them what they can help your child with. Remember that early detection and early intervention make our holy grail.