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How we can help

If you suspect that your child may have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), seeking a diagnosis is very important.  Understanding the difficulties your child may be experiencing is the first step, which is quickly followed by support and guidance from our expert team. At the BFDC, we provide the gold standard of early childhood autism assessments and support services with our comprehensive Autism Assessment protocol.

Process

THE CONSULTATION

We invite you to meet with our clinical team to discuss your concerns and to explore the need for an assessment. There is no obligation to continue with the assessment after this initial meeting.

THE ASSESSMENT

Our Autism Assessment protocol includes:

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS): The ADOS is an interactive assessment that takes around two hours to complete. It’s tailored for individuals ranging in age from toddlers to adults and is suitable for both verbal and nonverbal individuals.

The Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI – R): The ADI takes the form of a two-hour interview with parents or caregivers. The ADI-R measures language and communications, reciprocal social interactions, and restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior and interests, following the diagnostic criteria set forth for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

A Comprehensive Speech and Language Evaluation (where necessary): Our Speech and Language Evaluation is dependent upon the age of the individual assessed. The evaluation is administered by a qualified Speech and Language Pathologist. It includes a comprehensive speech and language assessment of a child’s language and articulation skills through a combination of formal and informal procedures. Assessments typically require three one-hour sessions to determine the child’s skill level and needs in an educational setting.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI – R) are considered the standard in diagnostic assessments for spectrum disorders and have high accuracy ratings. These assessments focus on strengths as well as concerns in the areas of socialization, communication and restrictive or repetitive stereotyped behaviors or interests. Every assessment is unique and we will include IQ assessments, psychoeducational assessments and adaptive behavior measures upon request or as required.

THE REPORT AND DE-BRIEF

We will produce a comprehensive report after the assessment that will include the diagnostic findings, a clearly stated diagnosis, and recommendations for a treatment plan for your child.

Overview

The Process

FAQ’s

Your Concerns

WHAT IS AUTISM?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a brain developmental disorder that affects the way an individual relates to their environment and interacts with other people. They can experience difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. It can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and various physical health issues.

WHAT SIGNS SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

The scale is wide, so not all children will show the same traits. Here are a few common signs to look out for:

  • Repetitive behavior
  • Resistance to change
  • Difficulties with social interaction, communication and imagination
  • Biting, kicking, pinching or self-harming behavior
  • Avoidance of attention

WHAT DOES THE ASSESSMENT INVOLVE?

Prior to the session, we collect information on developmental and family history, as well as reports from schools.  Age-appropriate interviews and exercises are initiated throughout 2 sessions totaling 4-6 hours, often in more than one setting. Our team also administers cognitive, communication and behavior assessments to establish an informed diagnosis.

WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD HAVE AN ASSESSMENT?

Children can be assessed for ASD as young as 18 months. Early intervention is important, as it will decrease the child’s opportunity to learn problem behaviors. Younger children are also more receptive to change in behavior. When a child develops the ability to communicate effectively, they can gain power of their surroundings in a way that is not disruptive or aggressive. Children with ASD tend not to use effective social skills as they find it too difficult – tackling this early on will help them to develop coping strategies for difficult tasks.

WHAT WILL TREATMENT INVOLVE?

A treatment plan will differ from child to child, however we recommend a combination of the following treatments: Floortime Model (DIR), Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), parent training, play therapy, social skills training, pairing with other children, group work, school support, Speech and Language Therapy, and/or Occupational Therapy.