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How old does a child have to be before getting diagnosed as autistic?

I have a friend, not a close friend, and I noticed when he was only a year old that something wasn't quite right about his development. I didn't say anything to her because it's none of my business. He didn't walk until he was almost a year and a half old and said NO words at all when he was a year old, not even babbling. He is now 2 1/2 and says very little words and is developmentally behind in other areas as well. She took him last week to be evaluated and he is going to be getting speech, developmental, and special therapy 3 times a week. She now has a blog about him, and said that she has been researching autism, because of his behaviors, but he hasn't been diagnosed yet. I was just wondering how old does he have to be in order to get diagnosed, since he is exhibiting MANY traits of autism ( not just the delays, but meltdowns,hand flapping)

Since he is getting therapy, does the diagnosis really matter? I'm just curious!!

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:53 PM on Feb. 1, 2011 in Kids' Health

Answers (4)
  • The diagnosis is more for the parent's peace of mind. Most won't even give you a label unless you push for one. If a child needs a diagnosis to get certain therapies,one is given
    Most kids are diagnosed around 2-3
    my son was diagnosed at 4 with autism

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 1:57 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Generally, they won't "label" a child with autism until between 2-3, but some are diagnosed much later. As long as he is getting the therapy he needs, it doesn't matter whether he has a label of autism or not.

    Answer by missanc at 2:00 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • While there are some diagnosis that that have age criteria, autism is not one of them. He can be diagnosed at any age.

    Answer by layh41407 at 2:01 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Right around his age is when a diagnosis can happen. Good for her for learning and educating herself. He may have other developmental issues, but early intervention will be best for the child and family.

    Answer by 2BlondeBabies at 2:04 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

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