Who should get tested for an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
It is important to note that children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders have a wide range of symptoms and severity levels.
Children should be evaluated for an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) when they exhibit difficulties with social interactions, which may include difficulties making and developing friendships, difficulties initiating and responding appropriately to others, and difficulties using appropriate nonverbal communication.
Children may also have difficulties with communication including repeating words or phrases, speaking in an abnormal tone or volume, or having difficulties maintaining a conversation.
Behaviorally, parents of children with an ASD diagnosis may notice that their child engages in repetitive body movements such as hand flapping or rocking. Their child may also have difficulties with change in their routines and/or restricted or obsessive interests.
Why should your child receive testing for an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Research has shown that early intervention is best! While a diagnosis may be shocking for a family, it is helpful to get the diagnosis as early as possible. As soon as a diagnosis is received, appropriate services can be received.
What to expect from autism testing?
Formal autism evaluation can usually be completed in two sessions. The first session is a standardized cognitive or developmental assessment. This is needed to determine where your child is functioning compared to other same-aged children. The second session is a formal autism assessment. Depending on the age of the child, the parent may be present for this session.
The autism assessment allows the psychologist to assess your child’s communication and socialization skills while simultaneously observing your child’s behavior. A more formal interview with the parents may be required as well. Following testing, a comprehensive report will be written in order to provide detailed feedback regarding any diagnosis and individualized recommendations for your child.