All children need support to reach their potential. The first step in determining how best to help a child who is experiencing difficulties with communication, social interaction, or flexibility in responding to the world is to complete a comprehensive assessment and evaluation. These services are available at the National Autism Center's Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic. Early assessment can lead to early intervention, which is critical for long-term success.
Parents often report feeling relieved once a comprehensive assessment has been completed because they “finally understand” why their child has had difficulties in school, at home, or in the community. Parents will also have a better understanding of the next steps that they can take to help their child.
At the ASD Clinic, assessments are conducted by child psychologists who use standardized measures, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), to evaluate developmental, cognitive, and behavioral functioning.
According to best practices guidelines, a comprehensive autism assessment is one that includes the following components:
A detailed developmental history and review of records
Evaluation of a child’s developmental, cognitive, adaptive, and behavioral functioning
Direct observation of a child’s play, language, and social interaction
A physical examination
Families then receive a comprehensive written report and have the opportunity to work with clinic staff to implement treatment recommendations at home and school.