If you have concerns that your child may be on the Autism Spectrum and are considering formal assessment, we are happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is identified by certain sets of behaviors that typically affect communication and social functioning. Because ASD is a “spectrum disorder,” it can affect children differently and to varying degrees. Children with ASD can struggle with language, social, learning, and emotional difficulties. Assessment typically includes behavioral observations during a lengthy period of structured and unstructured interaction with a professional. In addition, a complete look at developmental history is important.
Research is clear in demonstrating that early intervention can make a world of difference for the future of your child. You can access resources through your state’s Early Intervention Program which provides services for children from ages birth through 36 months. Subsequently, for individuals ages 3-21 years, services can be accessed through your school’s Special Education Services.
Finally, please remember that if your child does receive a diagnosis of autism, he or she is the same child as before the diagnosis. The diagnosis is important for providing access to services that he or she needs.
Autism awareness in this day and age makes is difficult for children to fall through the diagnostic cracks, so to speak. Years ago, however, this wasn’t the case. It’s not uncommon for Teens and/or Adults to question and seek a diagnosis. It can be challenging to assess for Autism in older individuals because they have largely learned to cope with the difficulties by developing strategies and thereby learn to hide their symptoms. Even in this age group, however, diagnosis is important as individuals continue to struggle with social interactions and aspects of everyday functioning.