In the last ten years in the area of developmental psychology, there has been a shift in diagnostics that surround children who would have once been deemed shy or socially awkward, especially young girls.
Indeed, psychologists and social workers have pushed for a wider recognition of autism spectrum disorder so that children can get the help they need sooner and learn skills to help them navigate daily life.
Autism spectrum disorder, also known as ASD, is a complex developmental disorder that affects a child’s communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is typically diagnosed in childhood, and early intervention is essential for the best possible outcomes. A comprehensive assessment is needed to diagnose ASD, which includes a range of tests and evaluations.
However, if you are a parent of a child who is going for one of these assessments, you may be curious about what they are looking for. So, here are five common criteria broken down, so read on to learn more.
How is The Process Started?
If you are a parent who has concerns that your child is showing signs of ASD, then you will need to start with a pediatrician.
The assessment process usually begins with a referral from a pediatrician or primary care physician to a specialist who has experience in diagnosing ASD. This specialist may be a developmental pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or clinical psychologist. The autism assessment process is typically conducted over several appointments and may involve input from multiple professionals, including speech and language therapists and occupational therapists.
One of the primary assessments used to diagnose ASD is the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule or ADOS. The ADOS is a standardized tool that assesses communication, social interaction, and play skills in children. The assessment involves the child interacting with the evaluator in a structured environment, and the evaluator observes the child’s behaviors and social interactions.
Another tool commonly used in ASD assessments is the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R). The ADI-R is a semi-structured interview with the child’s parents or caregivers. The interview assesses the child’s communication, social interaction, and behavior patterns, and it provides important information about the child’s developmental history.
Observation and assessment of the child’s behavior and developmental milestones are also essential components of the assessment process. This may involve observing the child in various settings, such as school or daycare, and reviewing records from the child’s healthcare providers.
Assessments of cognitive and intellectual functioning, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), may also be conducted to determine the child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses. These assessments provide valuable information about the child’s abilities and can help identify any learning or developmental difficulties.
Assessments of language and communication skills, including tests of expressive and receptive language, may also be conducted. These assessments provide information about the child’s language abilities and can help identify any delays or difficulties in language development.
Sensory processing assessments may also be conducted to assess how the child processes and responds to sensory input. This may involve testing the child’s responses to various sensory stimuli, such as light, sound, and touch.
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