On average, 1-in-44 children are affected by Autism and recent data suggest that 1% of the world’s population is on the Spectrum. While ASD is a lifelong condition, early diagnosis and therapy intervention can help reduce some of its more challenging aspects.
Assessments for Autism also called Clinical Diagnostic Evaluations (CDEs) can be provided by an experienced clinician as early as 18-24 months of age. There are several types of clinicians that can provide an evaluation including Developmental Pediatricians, Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (with additional training), Child Psychiatrists or Psychologists and Pediatric Neurologists.
When to Get an Assessment
Deciding when to have your child assessed for ASD can be an emotional, stressful and confusing decision. Though awareness of Autism is increasing, individuals on the Spectrum still face social, emotional, and physical challenges throughout their lives.
We strongly recommend getting an assessment before age 3 so your child can receive early therapies to help build fine/gross motor skills, emotional regulation, communication, or life skills prior to entering a school environment. Early intervention is the best way to help your child prepare for the future. There are a number of different types of assessments that can be used to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder. At Heartleaf, our clinicians are certified in providing assessments using the ADOS-2 evaluation.
ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition) is a semi-structured, standardized assessment of communication, social interaction, play/imaginative use of materials, and restricted or repetitive behaviors. It consists of activities that provide the examiner with opportunities to observe behaviors that are directly relevant to the diagnosis of ASD at different developmental levels and chronological ages.