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Diagnosing and Treating Autism 
 
 

Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders 


Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors. If you have concerns about your child’s development it is important to share them with your pediatrician. Children should be screened for autism at each primary care visit at 9, 18, 24 and 30 months. If your child does not pass the screening tools, he should be referred for a diagnostic evaluation.

While you are waiting for the diagnostic evaluation appointment, your child should be referred for therapy to Early intervention (birth-3) or Early Education Services (3 and over).

A medical evaluation of autism may be made by physicians with expertise in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders.

The evaluation may include:

  • Review of previous medical and educational reports
  • Review of the child and families medical history
  • Structured interview with family members as well as the child
  • Behavior rating scales completed by parent, teachers, and child
  • ADOS- standard autism observation scale
  • Speech/Language evaluation
  • Occupational therapy evaluation
  • Cognitive adaptive testing
  • Physical and neurological exam

Our multidisciplinary team will make specific recommendations for interventions for your child.

 

Treatment Interventions


There is no single, definitive treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders. However, research indicates that early behavioral interventions help to maximize each child's potential.

Treatment options may include but are not limited to:

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) or related intensive behavioral treatment
  • Speech/Language therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • PEERS Social Skill Program (more information available here)

 

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