There are a million questions you want answers to but may not know where to start. Could you be paranoid, how do you know the REAL signs of autism? How do you bring your suspicions up to the pediatricians office? Are you imagining things? And one of the hardest questions "Am I alone?"
1) If you suspect your child may have autism go to your PC/Lap Top and take the M-CHATR test (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers Revised) If you've been monitoring questionable behaviors, this 20 question Yes/No answer test should help you decide whether or not you should seek further professional advise.
2) Now you've taken the test with results between Medium to High Risk. That's okay. Now it's time to call the pediatrician and make an appointment for your little one to be seen. Make sure when doing this, you are clear about why you're making the appointment so the doctor can look over files/medical history to prepare for your visit.
3) The time between your appointment and now is a great time to familiarize yourself with the history of autism. Not by what you've heard or seen on T.V. but actual facts. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 in 68 children and there is no medical detection, or cure. A great source to get you started with basics and terminology is the non-profit organization Autism Speaks.
4) Tomorrow is the big day at the doctors and you're wondering what, if anything you should bring. Always bring the insurance card for your little to every appointment. Bring a list of observed behaviors that prompted you to make the appointment in the first place. And most importantly print out and bring the results of the M-CHATR test you took at home, so you don't need to retake it while you wait to be seen. It's always best to be prepared.
5) Alright, you're walking out of the office with your tiny tot in toe, and also possibly a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You were just told your child has signs of autism, and it's best to see a psychologist for an official diagnosis. Where you go from here, determines the path for not only your child, but for you as well. A tool that I find most helpful to the parents and families of a newly diagnosed child is Autism Speaks: 100 Day Tool Kit
...One final note, take a moment to appreciate the steps you've already taken for your child and their future. You have begun a process that will change the coarse of your lives, for the better. It's not always easy, and it is not always going fair. You will have moments of fear, doubt, and repetition. Then, when you least expect it, moments of joy, courage, faith and happiness. Life in general is full of ups and downs. It is up to us and how we except struggle, to turn it into success.