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for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy,
Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities
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Whom to go to?

Thousands of babies are born each year with deviances that affect their development. Early recognition and diagnosis of disability in children has significant implications for a family's understanding of their child's needs in regards to therapeutic, educational and medical evaluations and interventions. Often the problem with the diagnosis of a developmental disorder like ASD lies in the confusion, myths, ignorance and lack of information and awareness regarding where and whom to go; for a diagnosis. The term ASD embraces so many heterogeneous groups of Neuro Behavioural symptoms that parents and educators find it difficult to decide “ is it or is it not? “.
Even though educators and sometimes parents of children with a particular disability may be quick in picking up these deviances, they are not authorized legally or ethically to confirm it. The identification requires an authorized clinician to recognize the appearance of the child and /or the pattern of symptoms, by the use of reliable and established Diagnostic Systems.

The following specialists can give the Formal Diagnosis that is reliable and accurate:


A psychiatrist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who must evaluate patients to determine whether the symptoms are the result of ASD or not. They can also identify the Primary Diagnosis in case of secondary or associated conditions like ADHD, Seizures etc.

Developmental paediatrician

A Developmental Paediatrician is, first and foremost, a paediatrician — A doctor with specialty training in the care of children and who brings a child- and family oriented perspective to the evaluation process.

Developmental Paediatricians have additional training that focuses on the assessment and management of developmental problems. Typical symptoms or concerns that a Developmental Paediatrician is trained to identify and evaluate include ASD and other developmental disorders.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists are authorized to assess, diagnose, predict ASD and other individual or group problems of persons with ASD to improve behaviour adjustment, adaptation, personal effectiveness and satisfaction. Psychologists need not have a medical degree.

However, they have to study several years to specialize in various aspects of psychology. An M.Phil in psychology with a minimum of two years of experience or a PhD in the subject is qualifies to be a licensed or a professional “psychologist”

Role of neurologists and physicians

Most commonly, parents visit their family doctor neurologist or to understand why their child is developing or behaving differently. Both the professional may be equipped to recognize the symptoms, especially conditions like Epilepsy that is associated with many developmental disorders and Cerebral Palsy

However, not all neurologists and physicians may answer issues related to differential diagnosis accurately. These could be ADHD and ASD, Severe intellectual impairment in which the repetitive behaviours sometimes appear as Autistic behaviours, Schizophrenia and ASD.

Regarding Screening

Screening is a process of identifying children who may be at increased risk of the condition. Screening procedures are an important part of the assessment process to identify children and youth who have ASD. Such procedures must be used with care; however, they provide only a preliminary sign that a child may have Autism. The most common and reliable screening tool is The M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers).

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan also has developed a teacher friendly checklist to identify at risk students. Classroom teachers, educators, therapists as well as Aanganwaadi workers who are trained for the same can use such checklists.

Diagnostic manuals Links??

Three main diagnostic manuals used to classify mental health conditions are in use today.
The ICD-10 is produced and published by the World Health Organization, includes a section on psychiatric conditions, and is used worldwide. .
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, produced and published by the American Psychiatric Association, is primarily focused on mental health conditions and is the main classification tool in the United States.

The Chinese Society of Psychiatry has also produced a diagnostic manual, the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders

The more recent ones are-

ADOS and ADIR links??:



  Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD is commonly called Autism Neuro- typical: A term used for people who do not have Autism or ASD  
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