Question: Are there problems other than autism that should be ruled out before or while planning to get a diagnostic evaluation for autism?
Answer: Autism as three core areas of dysfunction: problem with socialization, problem with communication and restricted interest repetitive behaviors. Within those core areas there could be several explanations for why that behavior is occurring. For instance, problem with socialization can be caused by social anxiety or by immature behavior of ADHD. Problem with communication can be caused by hearing loss or by a developmental language disorder. Restricted interest repetitive behaviors can be caused by anxiety based or obsessive compulsive type behaviors. All of those still require an evaluation. Therefore, you don't have to rule them out but they should be considered as part of the evaluation while it is being done.