Many people who discover that their child has autism have a laundry list of questions. How severe is it? Can it be treated? Will my child grow up to live a normal life? How do you know it’s autism? Although your family doctor can explain some of the ins and outs of the disorder, you will have to see a specialist to determine the extent of your child’s condition. The diagnosis starts with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). Then there is a test that may be given by a doctor, a teacher, or even a parent. This means that you could have an early warning if your child is has signs of autism. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale assesses a child based on a variety of criteria. The results determine if autism is present. But how does it work (and how well does it work)?
Childhood Autism Rating Scale Explained
Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) requires an observer to examine fifteen areas. It rates them on a scale of 1 to 4. The types of things you might have to rate are visual, auditory, and other sensory response, verbal and nonverbal communication, use of objects, emotional responses, and relationships to people (just to name a few). The observer must rate each area. It will use a score of 1 indicating normal development for the child’s age and 4 denoting severely abnormal behavior or response. The scale goes up to 60 (with a possible score of up to 4 assigned to each of the 15 areas of observation) and the cutoff for autism is 30. Those who score below this number either have a normally developing child or some other disorder is causing a problem. A score of 30-37 signifies a mild to moderate form of autism. Those in the 37 to 60 range are considered severely autistic. Of course, this scale isn’t definitive. Scores are subjective, but it can help to determine whether or not your child has autism. It will also show how severe it might be so that further testing can be done and treatment can begin.
The Childhood Autism Rating Scale assessment test is usually administered to children over two years of age. It may even given to adults. It can be used to determine if the child is autistic and the severity. It can be administered several times in an attempt to track improvements. Parents who opt to conduct the test on their own should do so knowing that they are not trained professionals, and so their results may not be entirely accurate. But as early warning systems go, this scale may provide the reason to have a child tested. This results in early detection and treatment.
More Information on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale
The Childhood Autism Rating Scale is considered to be an accurate method of determining cases autism when administered by a trained professional. The system was developed over 15 years with more than 1,500 subjects. Since then, several more tests have been done to verify the validity of the scale. If you want to find out more about Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), or get a copy of the scale in order to rate your own child, simply look online or talk to your pediatrician.
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