If your child is showing symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is important to have them evaluated by a professional. While it may seem frightening, it is the first step in helping your child live a productive life. If they are diagnosed with ASD, we will coordinate treatment, family educational and support programs, and provide input to help your school create an individualized education plan (IEP).
The Importance of Early Diagnosis
If your child is exhibiting symptoms that you suspect may be related to ASD, you may feel a sense of urgency to find out for certain. An autism diagnosis can occur when your child is young – as early as 12 months – and the earlier a child begins treatment, the better the outcome is likely to be. Discuss your child’s symptoms with your pediatrician to see if the Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center is the right next step for your family.
What to Expect at Your Assessment
The first step to getting help with your child’s symptoms is an assessment. Assessments are offered at the Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center for children ages 1-6. An assessment is typically done in a one-day visit.
Before Your Assessment
Before your visit, you will receive an email asking you to complete several questionnaires about your child. These questionnaires will collect information about your child’s medical history, social history and current behavioral concerns. This helps our team prepare for your child’s initial assessment and determine the team members and areas of focus needed ahead of time.
You will also be asked to complete rating scales about your child. Rating scales allow your child’s clinical team to gather information about your child’s functioning across different settings such as home and school and to help identify their strengths and challenges. Rating scales are often used along with other parts of your child’s evaluation to help guide treatment as well as track and report progress.
The questionnaires and rating scales will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete. Once the information is reviewed by our team, you will be contacted by one of our team members to schedule your child’s assessment.
Please follow-up with your clinical team at the Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center if you have any questions or concerns about completing your questionnaires.
During Your Assessment
During the visit, clinicians will observe your child, do testing and talk to you and/or your child about their symptoms. If your child is school age, bring any IEP information that you have in place. Based on your child’s needs, your assessment may include different providers such as psychologists, physicians, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists.
After Your Assessment
Recommendations for services and treatment plans will be discussed the same day. The good news is that early intervention can help in treating ASD, offering the tools your child needs to thrive. If your child is school age, we can also assist in creating an IEP that will help your child succeed in school.