What is Autism (ASD)?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person’s life. It affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns. It includes what used to be known as Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Relevant terms: Asperger’s Syndrome Testing, Asperger’s Diagnosis, ASD Testing, Autism Testing
Comprehensive Autism Evaluations
Who performs the Autism Evaluation?
Autism Evaluations are completed by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, typically after a pediatrician or other service provider has referred the child due to the results of a developmental screening.
What takes place during an Evaluation?
Making a diagnosis of Autism is difficult because there is not a simple medical test to confirm the disorder. A comprehensive Autism Evaluation involves looking at the child’s behavior and development, assessing core features of ASD, reviewing medical records, and interviewing parents and caregivers.
What are the benefits of this type of evaluation?
A comprehensive Autism Evaluation can determine whether the child meets current criteria for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder as defined by the DSM-V, as well as to assist with differential diagnoses from other childhood disorders. In addition, the Comprehensive Autism Evaluation can assist the Planning and Placement Team with determining special education eligibility and exceptionality, and identifying treatment interventions and needed services. The Autism Evaluation may also recommend additional testing to rule out other conditions.
What does a comprehensive Autism Evaluation include?
1. Review of medical records
⦿ Concerns raised through routine well-child care
⦿ Evaluations by medical specialists
⦿ Results of genetic testing
⦿ Birth records and results of newborn screenings
⦿ Medication history and response
⦿ Previous medical treatments
⦿ Review of previous assessments, including ASD screenings and evaluations
2. Review of educational records
⦿ Birth to Three evaluations
⦿ Special education eligibility and exceptionality
⦿ Educational progress and any special programming or services
⦿ Evaluations by psychologists or related services
3. A structured parent/caregiver diagnostic interview
4. Administration of standardized diagnostic instruments for Autism
What should you expect from your appointment?
About the Evaluation
Clinical Interviews and face to face testing can last from one to four hours. Evaluations can be broken into multiple sessions to accommodate the needs of the child and the family. Because parents will need to meet with the psychologist without the child present, they will need to bring a responsible person to monitor the child while they are meeting with the psychologist or will need to schedule an additional appointment to complete that portion of the assessment at a different time.
In addition to the written report, the autism assessment also includes a meeting with the parents to review results, as well as participation by phone in a PPT meeting to review findings.
Other services, such as conducting an observation of the student in their school placement, meeting with school staff or attending a PPT in person are available for an additional fee.
For your appointment, you will need to bring contact information for mental health service providers and medication prescribers, as well as lists of present and past psychiatric medications and the results of any relevant medical or genetic testing, school records, progress reports, previous evaluations or other relevant background information.
For referring school districts, a referral packet should include the following information:
⦿ Description of the reason for referral and any related questions or concerns
⦿ Previous evaluations including psychological, educational or related services
⦿ Most recent IEP or 504 plan
⦿ Report cards and/or progress reports
⦿ Disciplinary record
⦿ Name and contact information for relevant school personnel
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A thoughtful, balanced assessment strategy is about more than just testing: it’s about creating better experiences for families, teachers and students.