At least 2 sets of clinical eyes, often 3, will be on every child that completes an evaluation in our office.
Yes! We continue to expand our insurance contracts to help all families.
Yes! We would like parents/caregivers to attend and be present for the full appointment.
- Up to two adults may be present for the session, NO OTHER CHILDREN.
- While we conduct direct testing, we ask for you to limit your input so that we may assess your child’s ability completely, but you are more than welcome to stay and observe.
- Older children coming for Dyslexia or Autism testing may be more comfortable without their parents in the room and we allow your family to make that choice.
The initial consult can take up to an hour. We ask you to complete your online questionnaires prior to the appointment to ensure that we have time to discuss your responses during the initial visit.
Follow up assessments with testing can take up two hours for the in-person portions of the assessment. This allows plenty of time for your child to acclimate to our playroom and complete all testing.
We take as much time as we need for each child.
All formal testing is completed using standardized assessments, using a play-based approach.
- For formal autism assessments, we use the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2nd edition, ADOS-2, which is the gold standard for identifying children with autism.
- We use a variety of other tests based on your child’s age and reason for evaluations including:
- We have taken careful steps to ensure that our new office has neutral colors, is warm and inviting, and looks nothing like a typical doctor’s office. Our assessment rooms are large 12 x 17 rooms with carpet, lights that dim, with soothing colors, so that children feel calm and relaxed when entering. From our experience, most children will often only cry when it is time to leave and go home!
- Our developmental testing is play-based with age-appropriate toys and children often enjoy the session very much.
- For older kids, we work to make their testing fun and age appropriate in a very relaxing manner so that they don’t feel like they are being “tested”. We let them know that there are no right or wrong answers, we just want to learn about them a little to help make things easier in life.
- We do recommend that your child is well rested, well fed and not ill for the appointment. If your child has a rough night, we will do our best to reschedule their visit without delaying the diagnosis time significantly. Though it looks like all fun, we are evaluating how they respond to lots of different types of input. If they are not feeling their best, the test results are not accurate. We want to make sure that we are allowing your child to show us their best on the day of the evaluation.
90% of brain development is in the first 5 years of life.
The pathways in the brain are very responsive to treatment and intervention at a young age, however this diminishes as the child ages, with brain pathways often hard-wiring and being more resistant to change by age 8. The earlier we are able to see your child and help you access the correct steps to help your child’s development, the better your child’s chances are for reaching their full potential.
We would prefer that any child with a delay in development be seen prior to age 3.
This is a good question and we hear it often. The reason for early assessment is just to open up doors for support and services for your child, as early as possible. Many services cannot be accessed without a diagnosis. As we complete a comprehensive evaluation, our goal is to make sure that your child gets the correct services, in the right amounts, for their individualized needs.
Not every child will receive a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Our standardized testing look for atypical patterns of development and the soft neurological signs of the condition, and then measure them to see how strongly they impact your child’s development. A diagnosis is only given if the child meets criteria when the testing is scored.
The label is only a starting point to get help and support.
The earlier a child gets a diagnosis and therapy, the better their outcome. Many children will improve significantly with therapy and if testing is repeated later, most children no longer present with same level of severity.
Re-evaluations can be completed and are often required for additional services when they are 6 or 7 years old to see if they continue to present with strong markers of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
A medical diagnosis is part of your child’s medical chart and is private information. You will choose who needs to be informed about the diagnosis in order to improve your child’s development.
Our standardized autism testing protocols begin at 12 months of age. This is the age at which the soft neurological signs of ASD can be seen by a clinician and formally measured. Children identified with autism at this age, or even by the age of 2, often make remarkable progress with play based interventions. We have also had cases of children returning to us for testing at the age of 6, when insurance often request a reassessment, and they no longer meet criteria for ASD due to early, intensive intervention. Our goal for our little ones is to go into a regular kindergarten classroom with little to no support. Coming to see us for an assessment as soon as developmental or behavioral concerns are noted is critical in achieving that goal.
We retain a highly competent and certified staff, and hand-pick every member of our team to ensure that your child will receive a thorough and valid assessment. All of our team members who participate in autism assessments are Certified Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Administrators and have gone through extensive training and schooling, often on top of an underlying degree in a pediatric field. Many have degrees in the area of pediatric speech and language impairment. If you disagree with our assessment results, we fully support you in seeking a second opinion regarding your child’s needs. We are here to help you and can give you recommendations of additional places that complete these evaluations, if requested. We want to ensure that every family receives the best care possible, whether that is with us or someone else. We care deeply for every child who walks through our door and that is why our standards of care are very high.