Print or Email this List of Questions to Ask Your Mental Health Professional.
Your child’s doctor will look for developmental problems at their regular checkups. If a child shows any signs of autism, your child will likely be referred to a specialist such as a developmental pediatrician or pediatric neurologist for a thorough clinical evaluation.
Preparing for Your Appointment
In order to get the most out of your child’s appointment you might want to prepare the following:
Make a list of the things about your child’s behavior that concern you. Your observations of how your child has changed over time are also extremely important.
Make a list of any medications, including vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter medicines, that your child is taking.
If possible, bring a family member or friend with you. This is important to help you remember information and also for emotional support.
If you have a baby book record of developmental milestones for your child, bring that record.
If your child has unusual behaviors or movements recorded on video, bring the video.
Tell your child’s doctor about any observations from other adults and caregivers, such as baby sitters and teachers.
Write down questions that you want to ask your child’s doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to speak up when you don’t understand something that’s said.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Check the questions you would like to ask:
Why do you think my child does (or doesn't) have autism?
If my child does have autism, is there a way to tell how severe it is?
What changes can I expect to see in my child over time?
What kind of special therapies might help?
What kind of regular medical care will my child need?
What kind of support is available to families of children with autism?
How can I learn more about autism?
Questions Your Doctor May Ask
Questions the doctor is likely to ask you include:
What specific behaviors prompted your visit today?
When did you first notice these symptoms in your child?
How often do they occur?
Does your child have a family history of autism, language delay, Rett’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety or other mood disorders?
Does your child have any other symptoms that might seem unrelated to autism, such as gastrointestinal problems?
Does anything seem to improve your child’s symptoms?
Does anything appear to worsen your child’s symptoms?
When did your child first crawl? Walk? Say his or her first word?
What are some of your child’s favorite activities?
Have you noticed a change in his or her level of frustration in social settings?
If your medication is too expensive for you to afford, ask if there is a generic version. If there is no generic, ask if there is a similar medication that would be less expensive.
Most drug companies have prescription assistance programs for people who cannot afford their medications. Ask the pharmacist or go to www.pparx.org for more information.
It's very important that your doctor be aware of all medications your child is currently taking, even if they are for conditions something you may think are unrelated.
Use the space below to list each medication, including over-the-counter medicines and vitamins or supplements, and the dose/frequency in which your child is taking them.
NOTE: If you have questions or concerns about possible drug interactions be sure to ask your health care professional.
Enter additional questions or concerns you would like to add: