Does Your Child Need an Autism Evaluation?
Having concerns about your child’s development can cause parents and caregivers a great deal of stress and worry. You may be wondering if your child needs an Autism evaluation.
Do you ask yourself these questions:
- Why isn’t my child talking or hitting other early childhood milestones?
- Why is my child having so many difficulties at school or home?
- Why is my child not making eye contact or engaging with others?
When a child demonstrates autism spectrum challenges caregivers may worry about their current development, their future prospects, and their ability to learn appropriate social interaction. All of that worry can negatively impact your mental health, and the mental health of your child.
What’s more, the process of getting an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis can be difficult and overwhelming. But, getting an Autism evaluation done as soon as you have concerns is important because the younger a child is when they receive an autism diagnosis the more effective interventions can be.
SMPsychotherapy and Counseling Services offers a multidisciplinary Autism Spectrum diagnostic evaluation and assessment program to assess the needs of children up to age 15.
What Does the Autism Evaluation Process Look like?
Our providers offer a comprehensive evaluation that looks at the child as a unique individual that is part of a family unit, as well as a broader community. Our providers use screening tools and rating scales as well as the following:
- A comprehensive parent interview and questionnaire to discuss concerns and your child’s developmental history.
- Releases for pediatricians, health care providers, child care providers, and your child’s educational providers.
- A play-based meeting to evaluate your child’s behavior for symptoms of ASD. We evaluate:
- social skills including eye contact and including others in their play.
- language skills including conversation skills and speech patterns.
- visual attention to tasks and other stimuli.
- Rule out other causes of behaviors. Sometimes ADHD (attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), or other developmental disabilities can mimic ASD. Our providers are skilled at differentiating between signs of Autism and other diagnoses.
What Do I Do After an ASD Diagnosis?
We will follow up with your family after an autism evaluation is complete to discuss a diagnosis. It may be helpful to have all family members available for that meeting so everyone is on the same page about the next steps.
The right services for a child after an autism diagnosis can aid in your child’s development, improve their social communication, and help them develop satisfying peer relationships. It’s crucial to use a diagnosis as a starting place to help your child reach their potential.
Our providers will offer referrals to outside services for your child including speech-language pathologists, ABA therapists, developmental pediatricians, occupational therapists, and other clinicians who can provide your family with the services you need to ensure you get all the services your child needs. We may also suggest some adaptive tools to help your child communicate and interact with others. Knowing who to reach out to, and what services to ask for helps parents feel empowered.
Remember, early intervention is the key to ensuring your child has the best chance at developing skills that will make them successful adults. Each child is a unique individual with strengths and weaknesses whether they have Autism Spectrum Disorder or not. Our providers enter the assessment process with this in mind. Don’t wait. If you’re wondering about your child’s development, call our office today to schedule a consultation.
What If Autism Isn’t the Answer?
If your child is struggling, a diagnosis can often feel like a relief. Not getting a definitive answer from an evaluation may be frustrating, but our providers will offer suggestions for next steps for your child regardless of the outcome of the evaluation.
You may have some concerns about an Autism evaluation for your child…
How do I pay for an evaluation?
Our office accepts Husky, and Medicaid. You also have an option to private pay. We accept all major credit cards.
How do I start the process for formal evaluation?
To get started, contact our office to get started. We will connect you with the right provider for your child’s autism evaluation.
Where does the evaluation take place?
Your initial meeting with the evaluator will be done online. Then the provider will meet with you in your home or at our office depending on your and your child’s comfort. Any follow-up discussions can be done online or in person.
Get Answers and Start Your Child On a Path of Success
Your child is an amazing individual with gifts to share with the world. The right support can help unlock those gifts. Let us help by offering the empathetic space you and your child need for an Autism evaluation. To get started and schedule an appointment, you can call us at 203-800-9778 or send us an email.
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Kelly Harris, LCSW