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Kimberly: I have a friend who’s son did not get a medical diagnosis of Autism but is asking for one from the school district. Can a school diagnosis a child with Autism? What does this mean in terms of services or insurance? Is this something you would recommend?

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05/24/2018 9:48 pm

Can a child in NY be denied an IEP for ASD if there isn’t a medical diagnosis?

05/29/2018 12:50 pm
Reply to  Elena

Contact your state parent training & information center.

04/28/2018 10:19 am

While the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ASD are professionally helpful, they are neither legally required nor sufficient for determining educational placement. A medical diagnosis from a doctor or mental health professional alone is not enough to qualify a child for special education services. it’s especially important for administrators, parents, advocates, teachers and non-school professionals to keep in mind that when it comes to special education, it is state and federal education codes and regulations (not DSM-5 criteria) that determine eligibility and IEP planning decisions.School professionals must ensure that children meet the criteria for autism as outlined by IDEA or state education agency (SEA).

05/01/2018 9:40 am
Reply to  Lee

There is an advantage to allowing the school psychologist to conduct testing/interviews/observations to gather information used to make an autism diagnosis when that information is shared with the family and medical professionals. Together the family, school, and medical staff can design a plan that best meets the family/child’s needs at both home and school. Allowing the school to collect a bulk of the information and providing to the medical community may also keep the cost down, and result in a much quicker diagnosis and services.

05/11/2016 10:52 pm

Core diagnostic criteria for autism include deficient social-adaptive skills and and empathetic ability. The distinction between high-functioning autism (formerly called Asperger Disorder) and Intellectual Limitation (formerly called Mental Retardation) with Autistic features and “incomplete” forms of autism (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – PDD) rests on measures psychologists provide with such testing as IQ, Achievement, Projective testing (measures of mood and emotion) and tests of Social Maturity. The results of such testing will not only define Autism, but distinguish among various subcategories. However, there are medical conditions that masquerade as Autism. So, before psychological testing, underlying physical disorders must be ruled out.

05/10/2016 12:12 am

A child psychologist employed by the early childhood intervention program diagnosed our daughter with autism in the 1980s. That diagnosis was accepted by both physicians and educators and enabled her to get various services within the school district (special education, speech therapy, physical therapy). Throughout the years, various doctors have written paperwork confirming the diagnosis of autism based upon their own observations. I don’t know the age of your friend’s child, but if he is very young–perhaps the parents could take him to be evaluated by the school psychologist and follow up with a physician.