If you suspect your child may have autism, the best place to start is to contact your pediatrician. Your pediatrician can refer you to a testing facility to receive a diagnosis assessment. Many insurances require an individual to receive a diagnosis from an Approved Autism Evaluation Center (AAEC). You can also call the phone number on the back of your insurance card for more information on testing locations. This assessment is used to determine if your child meets the criteria for a diagnosis.
Another great resource available to parents is The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT). The M-CHAT is a screening tool used to identify risk factors for children ages 16-30 months. Pediatricians and other healthcare professionals use the M-CHAT to identify early signs of autism.