What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts a child’s ability to communicate and be social with other people. Children with ASD also show repetitive behaviors, intense and focused interests, rigid adherence to specific routines, difficulty with transitions, unusual sensory interests, and/or aversions to sensory experiences. 

Why is an autism diagnosis important?

Children can be diagnosed at-risk for an autism spectrum disorder as early as 18 months. It is important to identify autism early in children, as research has shown significant improvements in skills when children receive behavioral therapies. By intervening early, you can learn the best ways to teach your child new skills, manage problem behaviors, teach your child necessary skills to be successful as they transition to school, access resources to support your family financially, and improve the outcomes for your child. Thus, interventions should be implemented as soon as possible following a diagnosis, and our goal is to support you in this journey.

How do you test for autism?

At Prism, an autism evaluation always includes direct testing with your child through interviewing and/or play-based interactions. An autism evaluation may include the following components:

  • A diagnostic interview with the parent or caregiver that includes developmental history and current concerns

  • Intelligence testing

  • Direct testing of social perception/executive functioning

  • Social/behavioral testing using the ADOS-2, a play and interview-based assessment

  • Social, emotional, and behavioral questionnaires completed by parents and caregivers

  • Social, emotional, and behavioral questionnaires completed by teachers and other service providers

  • Adaptive behavior or independent living questionnaires/interviews with parents and teachers

  • ·Interviews with teachers and other service providers as needed

  • School observation

  • A comprehensive written report with results; summary; DSM-V or medical diagnoses; recommendations for eligibility for school services (IEP or 504 eligibility); recommendations for parents; and recommendations for services in the community

  • A meeting with families to review the results, recommendations, and develop a plan for treatment and prioritizing services

  • A school meeting to review results and determine eligibility for a 504 plan or IEP

What do I do if I think my child might have autism?

Please contact us to determine if an evaluation would be appropriate.