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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
    Last Revised April 3, 2012

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