ZocdocAnswersHow frequently should my autistic son have a mental development evaluation?

Question

How frequently should my autistic son have a mental development evaluation?

I want to make sure I'm doing everything to aid in his development. How often should I have him evaluated?

Answer

To begin, it is difficult to ascertain from the question you submitted how old your child is, and what has been the work up and evaluation performed thus far that has shown your child to have autism. Regardless, the first step is to be evaluated by your child's pediatrician and discuss with him your child's medical history, presenting symptoms and he or she will then perform a physical examination. Based on the information he obtain, he or she may decide to obtain lab tests or imaging studies, and if medically appropriate, may decide to refer your son to a specialist. It is at that point that you can have the discussions regarding how often to be evaluated for mental development. This is a very broad range, and varies between which physician you speak with as well as what the symptoms and diagnosis your son has. So for this reason, it is important that you start by discussing your concerns with your child's pediatrician who can then lead you in the right direction in terms of further neuropsychological testing and developmental assessments. Using your own judgement is also prudent as you know your son best, and if you notice changes or worsening in his cognition, you can consider being evaluated sooner rather than later.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.