First of all, there are VERY distinct differences between autism spectrum disorder and a child who has a speech delay.
Any professional who diagnoses your child, will know the difference and won’t just give a diagnosis to give a diagnosis. Secondly, if you are concerned about a speech delay or autism spectrum disorder, you should be taking your child to see a speech-language pathologist (SLP).
SLPs cannot diagnose autism; that is done by a developmental pediatrician. Learn more about how autism is diagnosed!
SLPs can, however, tell you that they are seeing signs of someone who is on the spectrum.
From my professional experience and from what studies have shown, it is very important that if you feel like your child is showing signs/symptoms from either list, then it’s important to see the appropriate medical professionals to get an accurate diagnosis. I will, for the purpose of this blog, go through both diagnoses and their signs/symptoms.
There are many signs and symptoms that could indicate a person has autism spectrum disorder. Not all adults or children with autism will have every symptom, and some adults and children without autism may display some of the same behaviors and symptoms.
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A speech and language delay is when a child isn’t developing speech and language at an expected rate. It is a common developmental problem that affects as many as 10% of preschool children. Your child may have a speech delay if he or she isn’t able to do these things:
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