Our Autism evaluations follow best practice guidelines to determine if your child meets criteria for
an autism spectrum disorder.
Why are children referred for an autism assessment?
Children are typically referred for testing by a doctor, teacher, school psychologist, or other professional because of one or more problems such as:
- Difficulty in learning, attention, behavior, socialization, or emotional control.
- A disease or inborn developmental problem that affects the brain in some way.
- Concerns about a developmental delay.
- Concerns about an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States. In a 2020 report, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 1 in 54 eight-year-old children had been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Further, the average age of diagnosis is after 4 years old. Early detection is imperative for accessing essential services and optimizing your child’s potential. Research shows that children who have access to appropriate resources are more likely to reach their fullest potential than those who do not.
What is included in an ASD Evaluation?
An ASD evaluation includes comprehensive testing, including the administration of the ADOS-2, and a detailed parent interview. A comprehensive evaluation is often a key step in getting services, both in the community and at school.
I’m concerned that my child will be labeled.
Receiving an evaluation is not about labeling your child – it is about identifying your child’s strengths and areas of concern to obtain the best possible services. Testing is confidential, and you may share the results of your evaluation with whomever you wish. In some cases, we may find that your child does not have ASD, and that something else is going on that better explains some of the difficulties your child may be experiencing. Either way, we will provide recommendations for services that best fit your child’s needs.
What should I expect?
An evaluation includes:
- An interview with parents to understand/obtain the child’s history
- Completion of questionnaires and assessment materials by parents and teachers regarding the child’s development and behavior
- Behavioral observation of and interview with the child, depending on age
- Comprehensive testing that involves paper and pencil and/or hands on activities, answering questions, and sometimes using a computer
For very young children, you will be with your child throughout the evaluation. Parents are usually not in the room during testing for older children. The time required for testing depends on your child’s age. Testing is often completed in one day; however, additional days are sometimes needed.