¿Cómo se diagnostican los trastornos del espectro autista?

Los síntomas de los trastornos del espectro autista pueden variar mucho de persona a persona dependiendo de la gravedad del trastorno.

Los síntomas incluso pueden pasar desapercibidos en el caso de los niños con trastornos del espectro autista leves o con discapacidades menos debilitantes.

Los indicadores que ocurren a una edad muy temprana y que requieren evaluación por parte de un experto incluyen:

  • no balbucear ni señalar a la edad de 1 año
  • no decir ninguna palabra a los 16 meses y no formar frases de dos palabras a los 2 años
  • no responder a su nombre
  • pérdida del lenguaje o las habilidades sociales que ya tenía
  • contacto visual inadecuado
  • excesiva colocación en fila de juguetes o de objetos
  • no sonreír ni responder socialmente

Los indicadores tardíos incluyen:

  • deterioro de la capacidad para hacer amistad con sus compañeros
  • deterioro de la capacidad para iniciar o sostener una conversación con otros
  • falta o deterioro de juego imaginario y social
  • uso repetitivo o inusual del lenguaje
  • interés anormalmente intenso o enfocado
  • preocupación con ciertos objetos o temas
  • adherencia inflexible a las rutinas o a los rituales específicos

Los proveedores de atención médica a menudo usan un cuestionario u otro instrumento de detección para recopilar información sobre el desarrollo y el comportamiento de un niño.

Algunos de estos instrumentos de detección recurren exclusivamente a las observaciones de los padres, mientras que otros recurren a una combinación de las observaciones de los padres y del médico.

Si los instrumentos de detección indican la posibilidad de algún trastorno del espectro autista, por lo general se recomienda una evaluación completa.

Una evaluación completa requiere un equipo multidisciplinario, que incluye un psicólogo, un neurólogo, un siquiatra, un patólogo del habla-lenguaje o fonoaudiólogo y otros profesionales, que diagnostica y trata a los niños con trastornos del espectro autista.

Los miembros del equipo harán una evaluación neurológica a fondo, así como pruebas minuciosas del lenguaje y cognitivas.

Como los problemas auditivos pueden causar comportamientos que se podrían confundir con los de los trastornos del espectro autista, a los niños con retraso en el desarrollo del lenguaje se les debe también hacer una prueba de audición.

fuente: NIH Nacional Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Esta entrada fue publicada en autismo, AUTISMO, DIVULGACIÓN. Guarda el enlace permanente.

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