Autism Evaluations are performed when an individual or parent is concerned that they or their child might have an autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a developmental disorder that impacts how a person perceives and socialize with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age it can be diagnosed with a high degree of accuracy by age two years.
A diagnostic evaluation for autism spectrum disorder is individualized and will include part or all the following:
- A medical, educational and social history
- A direct observation and interaction with the child.
- A general behavior assessment tool (see below)
- An ASD specific assessment tool (see below)
- An assessment of your child’s speech and language development
- An assessment of your child’s sensory-related skills, fine motor skills and self-help skills
- An assessment of cognition ability
ASD Specific Assessment Tools
- Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT
- Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition (CARS2)
- Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)
- Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Second Edition (ADOS-2)*
- Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)*
General Behavioral Assessment Tools
- Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL)
- Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-3)
*The ADOS-2 can be used alone to measure progress and present levels in children, teens and adults already diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
The ADOS-2 can be administered annually.
The ADOS-2 and ADI-R are considered the “gold standard in diagnosing autism.”