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Physical Examination for Autism

Physical Examination for Autism

During the physical examination, the health professional looks for specific signs of autism . A child suspected of having autism will have assessments, including:

  • Weight and height measurements, to determine whether he or she has a normal growth pattern.
  • Head circumference measurements, to determine whether head size is normal. Some children with autism have a larger- or smaller-than-average head.
  • Examination of the face, arms, and legs, to look for any birth defects.
  • Routine tests to ensure that developmental delays aren't caused by hearing loss and/or vision problems.
  • Evaluation for self-inflicted injuries. Sometimes injurious behaviors such as face slapping or head banging are caused by an underlying infection or injury.
  • Reflex testing. Children with autism often have undeveloped reflexes.
  • Exercises to determine hand dominance. Some autistic children have a delayed development of right- or left-handedness.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Current as of June 4, 2014

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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