Autism is one of those common conditions which remain unidentified or undiagnosed until very late into the developmental or formative years of a child. The reasons behind this are limited awareness of parents as well as denial or hesitancy in accepting their child's problems. This in turn, delays early intervention. Diagnosing autism in children becomes difficult as they do not display any obvious physical problems. In absence of the above mentioned problems, your family doctor would refer your child to a developmental pediatrician. A developmental pediatrician or a pediatric neurologist is better equipped to diagnose autism. They are able to assess the delays in the child's development across various milestones. This helps narrow down to the diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The assessment of children with autism requires multiple evaluators, using multiple methods of gathering information. A formal diagnosis is best done by a team of professionals comprising of a developmental pediatrician, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a speech and language pathologist and a few others. This team carries out several assessments and tests, which pinpoint the exact areas in which the child has a problem.