Getting A Diagnosis

There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism. An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual’s communication, behavior, and developmental levels. Because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms being exhibited. A developmental pediatrician, a psychiatrist or psychologist, or a neurologist can assist in making a diagnosis.

If you have a Medi-Cal HMO (like IEHP or Molina) we suggest you ask for a referral to a neurologist. The neurologist visit should be covered under your insurance policy.  Visit our resource page for more information on local doctors with experience diagnosing autism.

There is a difference between a medical diagnosis, an educational assessment (for special education services) and a regional center assessment.  It is possible to have a medical diagnosis and not qualify for services.  Contact us or an advocate for more information on obtaining services.