Autism-Takiwātanga Diagnosis

Autism-Takiwātanga Diagnosis

Read about what happens if you, your whānau, your child's teachers, Well Child nurse or family doctor raise concerns about your child's development or notice signs of autism-takiwātanga in your child.


How is autism-takiwātanga diagnosed?

Initial concerns

You may be one of the first to notice signs of autism - takiwātanga in your child. Your child's teachers, Well Child nurse or family doctor may also raise concerns about your child's development. Your Well Child nurse checks your child's growth and development at all Well Child visits. You and your Well Child nurse can discuss any concerns you have about your child's development and behaviour.

You know your child best. Get a second opinion if you remain concerned.

If you have concerns about your child's development or behaviour, you could talk to:

  • your Well Child nurse
  • your family doctor
  • an early childhood teacher at your child's child care centre or kindergarten
  • someone at the Ministry of Education, Special Education (phone 0800 622 222)

You know your child best. Get a second opinion if you remain concerned.

If autism-takiwātanga is suspected

If there are concerns that your child might have autism-takiwātanga, one of the professionals listed in the section above may suggest an appointment with a health professional with training and experience in autism-takiwātanga. The health professional could be a paediatrician, child and adolescent psychiatrist, or a psychologist. A developmental coordinator may also be a member of the team looking after your child.

To accurately identify whether or not your child has autism-takiwātanga, the health professional will usually:

  • meet with you and your child to explore symptoms of autism-takiwātanga and associated conditions, to identify any family history of autism-takiwātanga, and to understand the impact of symptoms on your child and family
  • communicate with your child's preschool or school in order to understand how your child's symptoms may be affecting their learning
  • order other tests (including blood tests) if needed

There is no single test to diagnose autism-takiwātanga. The diagnosis is best made after your health professional has collected a range of information and this process may take more than one appointment.

Children with autism-takiwātanga have difficulties in all settings of their lives (such as home, and daycare or school) but their difficulties may be more obvious in one setting. It is the extent and impact the difficulties are having on day to day functioning that is important. Your health professional will check that your child's symptoms are not caused by other problems such as hearing or learning problems, developmental delay, or another rare condition.

See all the content on autism-takiwātanga

This page last reviewed 28 June 2021.

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