An adult’s hands are on top of a table, clasped together, as if the person could be anxious. On the table is a paper that reads Autism Diagnosis. This indicates that this blog discusses getting an autism diagnosis.

Getting an Autism Diagnosis – What to Do While Waiting

If you are getting an autism diagnosis for your child or for another loved one, you might be filled with questions. You also might need to wait to see a medical professional who can start you on your autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis journey.

Fortunately, Blue Parachute is here to help you on your path. We can help explain some of the steps involved in getting diagnosed with ASD. More importantly, we can provide advice regarding what you can do while you are waiting. Continue reading below to learn more.

What Are the Autism Diagnosis Criteria?

The criteria for diagnosing autism are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. The criteria focus on deficits in two core areas. The first is social communication and interaction. The second is restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Specific symptoms may include difficulties in sharing interests or emotions, challenges with nonverbal communication, and difficulties developing and maintaining relationships appropriate to the developmental level.

To be diagnosed with autism, these behaviors must be present in the early developmental period. They must also cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning. Finally, these disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability or global developmental delay.

Is There an Autism Diagnosis Checklist?

While there isn’t an official checklist, the autism diagnostic criteria provided in the DSM-5 serve as a structured guide for clinicians. This includes evaluating the presence of symptoms such as lack of eye contact, repetitive movements, insistence on sameness, and delayed language skills. Professionals might use tools like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) or the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) as part of their comprehensive assessment.

How Long Does It Take to Get Diagnosed With Autism?

The duration of the diagnostic process for autism can vary significantly. It depends on various factors, including the age of the individual, the severity of symptoms, the presence of coexisting conditions, and the speed of the referral process to specialists. For some, the diagnosis might be identified relatively quickly, within a few months. However, in situations where symptoms are subtle or where other conditions are also present, the process can take much longer and can even exceed a year.

What Is the Average Wait Time for an Autism Diagnosis?

The average wait time for an autism diagnosis can vary by region and healthcare system accessibility. In some places, it might take several months from the first concern to obtaining a diagnosis due to waiting lists for specialists like developmental pediatricians or child psychologists. In others, especially where healthcare resources are more readily available or in private healthcare systems, the wait time may be shorter.

What Is the Definition of a Neurodevelopmental Disorder?

A neurodevelopmental disorder is characterized by developmental deficits that produce impairments of personal, social, academic, or occupational functioning. These disorders typically manifest early in development, often before the child enters grade school, and are characterized by developmental deficits that may involve cognitive, behavioral, motor, and emotional functioning.

Is Autism a Neurodevelopmental Disorder?

Yes, autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by early-onset difficulties in social communication and unusual patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. These symptoms reflect the neurological basis of the disorder and its impact on a child’s typical developmental trajectory.

Should I Get Diagnosed for Autism?

After reading and learning more about autism, you might be asking yourself if you should go through the diagnosis process. Deciding to pursue a diagnosis of autism is a personal decision that can depend on various factors, including the potential benefits of receiving a diagnosis. For many, a formal diagnosis can provide clarity and access to resources and additional support that is crucial for addressing challenges associated with autism. It can also help in personal and professional understanding and accommodations.

If you suspect that you might be on the autism spectrum, consulting with a healthcare professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating autism is a recommended step. They can guide you through the process of assessment and help determine if a diagnosis fits your symptoms and experiences.

Is ABA Therapy Only for Autism?

No, ABA therapy is not exclusively for autism, although it is widely recognized and used primarily in the context of treating individuals with autism spectrum disorders. ABA techniques can also be effective for people with other developmental issues, behavioral challenges, or learning difficulties. This includes conditions such as ADHD, cognitive impairments, and even behavioral management for typically developing children. The principles of ABA, which include reinforcement to modify behaviors, are universally applicable and can be adapted to a wide range of situations and individuals.

What Other Conditions Is ABA Therapy Good For?

Besides its prominent role in treating autism, ABA therapy is effective for a variety of conditions. It is particularly beneficial for individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In ADHD, ABA techniques can help manage impulsivity, increase attention, and improve task completion. These interventions can also support the development of better organizational skills and more effective problem-solving behaviors.

ABA therapy has also been adapted to help treat conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders, where techniques such as exposure therapy and systematic desensitization are used. These methods help individuals gradually face and learn to cope with their fears in a controlled and supportive environment, reducing anxiety and avoidance behaviors over time.

Additionally, ABA has applications in the management of oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and even eating disorders. The principles of behavior analysis can assist in replacing destructive behaviors with healthier ones, thus improving overall psychological health and daily functioning. The versatility of ABA in addressing a wide range of behavioral issues underlines its value as a therapeutic approach in various psychological and developmental conditions.

Can Blue Parachute Help While We Wait?

Now that you better understand autism, the criteria for a diagnosis, and ABA therapy, you’re likely wondering what you can do while you wait. Though having an appointment with a Licensed and Certified Behavior Therapist might be included in what many consider ideal treatment plans, getting an appointment to see one might not be so easy. Depending on where you live, from making the testing appointment to getting the results to finding an ABA center with availability, the process can take months. This time is precious. It’s when you want to be more proactive than reactive. Fortunately, Blue Parachute is here to help.

Whether the diagnosis includes autism or any other neurodevelopmental disorder, our library of videos is available to help parents, instructors, caregivers, and others to teach and learn. We even offer business training programs.

In addition to the videos currently available, we are in the process of adding more videos to provide additional help. Plus, our videos are available with subscription pricing to ensure they are affordable to everyone.

If you want to begin using our array of helpful videos, you can view our pricing or even sign up for our free trial. If you have additional questions, simply read our Frequently Asked Questions page or email us at

Blue Parachute. Easy. Affordable. Life-Changing.


Related Readings:

Blue Parachute – Who We Help

Blue Parachute – How We Help

How to Prepare for Adulthood With Autism