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Autism and failure to diagnose as medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Autism is a condition impacting the cognitive, social and communication skills of an individual. With the right interventions and an early diagnosis, these individuals are able to lead lives with few interruptions,

If children do not get an early diagnosis, it could leave them missing out on important treatments and therapies that could alter the course of their development and quality of life.

Failure to diagnose issues

Since autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, there is a wide range of signs to indicate a concern. Children may develop normally before experiencing periods of deep regressions in social or speech skills, though others may fall behind in reaching developmental milestones if they reach them at all.

Doctors often rely on behaviors to indicate the presence of autism. However, the earlier the diagnosis, the more time there is to work with a child in specific areas where development is lacking. Functional impairments are likely if a physical fails to diagnose autism, creating difficulties in an individual living independently as they grow older.

Common culprit for failure to diagnose

A parent has an expectation that the physician they trust with their child’s health will make an accurate, insightful diagnosis when a problem is evident. If a doctor fails to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis, the delays in treatment for an autistic individual have a lasting negative impact. It is common for doctors to misdiagnose autism as ADHD and only provide treatment for this condition.

There is the potential for a physician to develop tunnel vision when looking at children exhibiting signs of autism. It is important to get a comprehensive and accurate diagnosis early when dealing with autism.