Diagnosis vs ClassificationDiscussion at this month’s multidisciplinary salon focused on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). One topic we discussed was the diagnostic process and early detection. Everyone agreed that early intervention provides the best possible outcome. In the last ten years, there have been many changes in the diagnostic process, as well as, the development of a variety of treatment approaches. Children suspected of this disorder before age 3 will often have a medical diagnosis and after entering school will be classified by their educational team in order to receive services. If however the child is identified after the age of 3 in a preschool setting they will receive testing and be classified for services by the school psychologist. Unless parents go to an outside source they will not necessarily have an official autism diagnosis. Why would you want a diagnosis? Being classified for services is not the same as a diagnosis, and if not properly diagnosed children could possibly receive less intensive services then required which would result in their inability to fulfill their true potential.