Autism Screening Specialist

Pediatrics of Southwest Houston

Pediatricians located in Houston, Bellaire, TX

Around 90% of parents of children with autism notice behavioral issues by the time their child is two years old. However, with autism screening, your pediatrician can help identify the signs even earlier, helping reduce the impact on your child's development. The pediatricians at Pediatrics of Southwest Houston in Houston, Texas, offer developmental and autism screening services to all their patients. Find out more and book an appointment today by calling the practice, or requesting an appointment online.

Autism Screening Q & A

What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects how you behave, interact, and communicate with others. 

The autism spectrum is broad, and no two people experience autism in the same way. Some people show signs of autism within their first few months, while others take up to two years. Some may have noticeable developmental issues, while for others, it isn’t so clear. Signs of autism include:

  • Prefers to be alone
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Delayed language development
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Intense reactions to sensory triggers (e.g., sounds, colors, lights)
  • Difficulty reading people's emotions
  • Resistance to minor change

An early ASD diagnosis makes it easier to provide your child with the support they need.

What is autism screening?

Autism screening helps catch the early signs of autism, allowing early intervention. It identifies if your child is on the spectrum and helps you and your pediatrician understand your child better — their strengths, deficits, and behaviors.

All children have developmental and behavioral screening included as part of their routine nine-, 18-, and 30-month well-child checks. They also have ASD-specific screening at their 18- and 24-month well-child checks. 

Children with a higher risk of having autism — a family history of ASD, premature birth, low birth weight, lead exposure — may need additional screening.

If you have any concerns about your child's development, you can request screening outside of these routine visits.

What happens during an autism screening?

A developmental screening determines whether your child needs an autism screening. It requires you to complete a questionnaire about your child and may ask your child to complete some small tasks. 

The questions are about your child's development and cover areas such as their movement, emotions, behaviors, and communication. Though not extensive, developmental screening is often a first indicator that your child has ASD.

An autism screening is a more comprehensive evaluation conducted by a specialist. It takes around three hours and may include a structured test for your child, questions for you, and time observing your child.

The results from your child's autism screening allow the specialist and your child's pediatrician to decide on an individualized treatment program to ensure your child has the support they need.

With early intervention, your child can grow to reach their full potential. Find out more or schedule a consultation at Pediatrics of Southwest Houston. Call today or schedule your appointment online.

*We accept medicaid. Pediatricians are affiliated with Memorial Hermann.