Sinclair Cares: Diagnosing Autism

One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States.

Most of them show the first signs of autism by age three.

However, many children are not diagnosed with the condition until they are much older.

Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we want to keep you informed about important health and safety matters.

We believe it's our responsibility and privilege.

Kara Duffy shows you the advances in diagnosing autism.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found many children with autism are not being diagnosed as early as they could be.

Even though autism can be diagnosed as early as age two, most children are diagnosed at age four.

The lag negatively affects how and when families get the services they need.

Pediatrician Dr. Norina Ocampo said, "You see the whole gamut. There is not one specific, cookie-cutter diagnosis for autism."

Dr. Ocampo specializes in diagnosing and treating the developmental disorder that makes it difficult for people to socialize and communicate. "There is no blood test to diagnose autism. It is basically developmental screenings and family histories and observations of the parents," said Dr. Ocampo.

Dr. Ocampo says doctors continue to rely on a checklist to diagnosis autism but the questions have changed.

The new questions pinpoint behavior in greater detail because every patient falls on a different point of the autism spectrum.

For example, doctors want to know specifically how your child asks you for something. "Does your child point to ask for things or does your child point to show you things?" said Dr. Ocampo.

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