Early Identification of Autism
The DEPS team evaluates children from 18 months to 18 years of age for Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. Our practice prioritizes initial diagnosis of children from 18 months to 5 years of age in order to minimize wait times for young children to be evaluated for Autism in order for them to access early intervention services as soon as possible.
What is Autism?
- Autism is neurobiological developmental disability that is present before the age of 3 years.
- Autism impacts the development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and the individual may have a restricted range of interests or repetitive behaviors.
- Each individual with ASD has their own set of challenges and areas of difficulty.
- Symptoms vary from person to person and no two individuals with ASD are the same.
- There is no cure for autism however early intervention and treatment can lead to significant improvements in development.
What are the reasons to evaluate early?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, recommends monitoring, screening, evaluating, and diagnosing children with ASD as early as possible.
Early identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is essential to ensure that children can access specialized evidence-based interventions that can help to optimize long-term outcomes.
Empirical data demonstrates that children who receive early and intensive treatment have far better outcomes in areas of cognition, social behaviors, and communication.
Intensive therapy early on may encourage the young brain to reroute itself around faulty neural pathways.
Many children with ASD are not identified as early as possible and wait until they enter school. By the time they are identified, significant delays may have occurred and opportunities for intervention might have been missed.
We are able to evaluate your child in one session and provide same day feedback.
A FORMAL ASSESSMENT FROM A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST IS REQUIRED TO ACCESS THESE SERVICES.
Autism Evaluation Process
- We provide a comprehensive evaluation of overall development as well as an in-depth evaluation of autism spectrum disorder.
- The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition, ADOS-2 and the Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised, ADI-R, are considered the gold standard in Autism evaluations.
- All of the assessment team members are certified ADOS-2 administrators and experts in the identification of Autism.
- Evaluation results are designed for children to access needed services.
- All results are provided verbally during the appointment. A full written report is provided within 2 weeks.
What are the Early Signs of Autism
in Babies and Toddlers?
- Doesn’t make eye contact (e.g. look at you when being fed)
- Doesn’t smile when smiled at
- Doesn’t respond to his or her name, or to the sound of a familiar voice
- Doesn’t follow objects visually
- Doesn’t point or wave goodbye, or use other gestures to communicate
- Doesn’t follow the gesture when you point things out
- Doesn’t make noises to get your attention
- Doesn’t initiate or respond to cuddling
- Doesn’t imitate your movements and facial expressions
- Doesn’t reach out to be picked up
- Doesn’t play with other people or share interest and enjoyment
- Doesn’t ask for help or make other basic requests
- The following delays require immediate attention by a psychologist or developmental pediatrician
- By 6 months: No big smiles or other warm joyful expressions
- By 9 months: No back and forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions
- By 12 months: Lack of response to name
- By 12 months: No babbling or “baby talk”
- By 16 months: No spoken words
- By 24 months: No meaningful two word phrases