Updated: Sep 9
Autism spectrum disorder is a very complicated disorder. most of you had never heard about it a few generations ago. But these days, undoubtedly it has become the most common disorder among toddlers.
ASD is a collection of brain network and brain growth disorders that disrupt attitude and communication of a child.
Generally symptoms of autism show up in toddlerhood. However, it can also be discovered in adulthood too. ASD includes different kinds of behaviour related difficulties like keeping eye contact , repeating words and many more. Unfortunately the indicators of autism can differ child to child. Some autistic kids may have characteristics that are so slight whereas on the other hand some struggling with the symptoms affect their life majorly.
Main problem is that autism cannot be diagnosed with a lab test. Even an evaluation of spectrum disorder is typically obtained after comprehensive examination of symptoms and behaviors.
Because this disorder contains a wide range of symptoms and difficulties that could be similar with other disorders symptoms. This can make identifying it more difficult and increase the risk of missed or inaccurate diagnoses.
Here are some disorders that can be mistakenly taken as Autism because of autism like symptoms:
1. Delay in speech or developmental milestones: These delays exist when a toddler or child struggles to do activities that specialists believe children of that age are supposed to be able to do. It might involve problems with speech, social interaction, capacity for logical thinking, hearing, visibility. Presence of these developmental delays in kids could be the indication of autism or child may be just a slow learner.
2 Virtual autism: Because of high dependency on technologies our children are also getting used to mobile and other digital screens. Which causes a new disorder called Virtual autism. COVID 19 also plays a crucial role behind it because in lockdown children had to spend most of their time in front of screens which leads to the fact that they are not able to correlate the virtual world to the actual world. If your child is born just before lockdown or during lockdown and diagnosed with autism, it could be misdiagnosed because virtual Autism shows most common symptoms like ASD.
3. Defining interests: Some children can get obsessed with certain hobbies or objects. The way they behave may even appear obsessive. That doesn't necessarily imply that they have autism until they show other symptoms of autistic like difficulty with social connections.
4. Sensory processing dysfunction: Some kids are highly sensitive to light, sound or sensation. Being cuddled or getting loud noises may disturb them. An autistic child may perform the same thing but they will also shows other symptoms of autism too like no eye contact.
5. Mental health issues: It can result in addictive behaviour, communication issues, speech problem and other issues that appear to be autism actually aren't. Examples are OCD, disorder of social (pragmatic) communication, resistance disorder etc.
6. Poisoning with lead: It is a toxic metal that can harm the brain. Child could receive it via unhealthy drinking water or outside food that may contain lead like paint chips. Because of these lead particles kid may experience developmental delays and learning issues. Treatment for lead poisoning in children may improve their symptoms therefore being right detection is important.
What should I do if I believe my child was misdiagnosed?
If you suspect that your kid has been mistakenly diagnosed with autism, you should re consult with your doctor, pediatrician, counselor or mental health expert. You can explain why you think there is a misdiagnosis happened. You can ask some questions like have you examined the hearing of my child? Can we take a further test to check for lead in blood?
If your healthcare provider rejects your concerns and you still strongly believe that your child doesn't have autism seek a second opinion.