Autism

If you suspect your child may be on the autism spectrum, you may be considering an autism assessment by a clinical psychologist. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication, and repetitive or restricted behaviors and interests. The symptoms and severity of autism can vary widely from one individual to another, making it a “spectrum” disorder. Clinical psychologists play a vital role in diagnosing and treating autism in children and teens. They are trained professionals who can conduct comprehensive assessments to identify the presence and severity of autism, as well as any co-occurring conditions.

The autism assessment process typically involves several steps. Initially, the clinical psychologist will meet with the parents and the child to gather information, learn more about the current concerns and challenges, make clinical observations, and answer any questions that the parents and child may have. Next, the clinical psychologist will conduct an interview with the parents to gather information about the child’s developmental history, behavior, and current concerns. This is often followed by direct observation and interaction with the child, which allows the psychologist to assess the child’s social, communication, and behavioral skills.
Standardized assessment tools, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) or the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) are used. These tools are designed to evaluate the child’s behavior and communication in a structured setting and provide objective measures that can help in the diagnosis of autism. In addition to these assessments, the psychologist will also evaluate the child’s cognitive abilities, adaptive skills, learning language development, and memory. Furthermore, tests are administered to address differential diagnoses that have overlapping symptoms with ASD such as ADHD and other disorders.

Sageforth specializes in and provides comprehensive psychological assessments for autism.  We often receive patient referrals from other providers who feel that their patients’ complex cases would be best served by our expertise and specialization.  Additionally, parents often seek our services to provide diagnostic clarity.

Please contact us at 703/777-7755 for a consultation.