Developmental Screening Evaluation for Autism
If it seems as though you are hearing more and more about autism, it may be because the rates are rising. Recent information released from the CDC cites that the rate of child autism in the US rose to 1 in 44 from 1 in 56 the previous two years. Furthermore, developmental disabilities in general are on the rise as 1 in 6 children were diagnosed with one between 2009 and 2017. Although we do not know for sure the cause of these disabilities, we do know that we are learning more every day on how to detect and treat developmental disabilities at a very rapid rate. There is also growing research on how the early detection of Autism in children under 12 months old may lead to interventions that improve social skills and reduction in maladaptive behavior.
Fortunately for families in the US, we have one of the most comprehensive service systems for children with disabilities. Unfortunately, however, it is not without flaws. For instance, many children are denied Early Intervention (EI) because the child’s symptoms are not severe enough. The services are reserved for children with the most need. This means that many children in need go without detection or help. What can you do if you suspect your child may have a developmental disability and you are told they are either too young for an evaluation or denied services?
You may wish to seek the services of a child psychologist, but even then, you may be turned away because many psychologists work with children 3 years and older. There is just a significant paucity of specialists in the field of developmental psychology who specialize in children ages 0-3. Manhattan Psychology Group, PC is proud to offer the services of one of these early developmental psychologists. Dr. Karen Surowiec specializes in diagnosing children with developmental delays and disabilities who are below 3 years old.
Yes, it is true that according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychological Disorders (DSM-5) the diagnosis is not normally made before age 2, but many signs can be present and the sooner you get treatment for your child, the better their chances of success. Even if you do not suspect autism and see slight delays in milestones, your child could benefit from a developmental evaluation.
This screening evaluation can be done in-person or virtually. It is shorter than the full Autism Diagnostic Evaluation and ideal for children under 2 years old. It is a pro-active option for parents who suspect some type of developmental issue (e.g., walking, eye contact, sounds). The evaluation includes a structured parent intake (ADIR) that covers child gestation, birth history, medical history, family genetic history, and any observed symptoms of autism. The screening also includes abbreviated testing (ADOS or BOSA) of developmental tasks in the office or virtually. Finally, there is a sensory processing and milestones measure of the 5 domains: Communication, Problem Solving, Fine and Gross Motor Skills, Personal-Social. Unlike the Developmental/Attachment Evaluation, this screener does not assess parent-child bonding/attachment, parenting skills, parenting stress and any non-autism related behaviors.
After the evaluation, we will provide you with a written report with testing results, diagnoses if any, and recommendations on how to take the next steps to ensure your child has the best start possible. You can use the results to support or dispute the results of any free Early Intervention evaluation. We can also connect you with treatment specialists so there are no delays in getting the help you need.
Please contact us today with any questions or to schedule a consultation.