Autism

Autism Diagnosis Education Project (ADEP) and the administration of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

Autism is a buzzword in many schools and communities across the nation, leaving some parents with the question, “Does my child have autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?” It helps to know what to look for and then how to act if you have concerns. Your local community provides a process to help you answer those very questions through a process called the Autism Diagnosis Education Project (ADEP).

What are some warning signs I should be aware of if my child is younger than 30 months of age?

  • Little to no eye contact
  • Rarely looks to others’ faces
  • Absent facial expression
  • Delayed babbling
  • Lack of imitation
  • Inability to follow a pointed finger

These are but a few examples, but they may be early indicators.

If I suspect my child might have ASD, whom should I contact in my local area?

 

Your local community has a highly trained and knowledgeable evaluation team. By contacting your local Help Me Grow agency, this team will reach out to you and help walk you through the process. It can be scary, we know, but Help Me Grow staff will be with you each step of the way.

How does the evaluation process work?

 

When you first contact Help Me Grow, you will work with a service coordinator to determine an initial visit. From there, the team will evaluate your child using a series of tests in order to help them decide the next steps. They will then refer to their local ADEP medical partner who works closely with the team in order to either rule out ASD or not.

Whether or not your child receives a diagnosis of ASD, the Help Me Grow team will support and work with you through the process.

What tests will my child undergo?

 

Each team uses several types of evaluations, each of which give valuable insight and clues into your child and how he or she is developing. One such test may be the Routines-Based Interview, which is a series of questions, asking you about your family’s routines and activities throughout the day. Other evaluations may include the ADOS-2, which is considered the gold standard in assisting physicians in diagnosing an individual with ASD. All of these tests are a means of observing your child and sharing information that will help the partner doctor determine a diagnosis and help the evaluation team decide how to provide intervention, if necessary. 

By using these standardized screening and evaluation tools, we can help provide an earlier and more reliable diagnosis for your child.

Who is part of the team?

Teams are often comprised of a variety of providers and specialists, including:

  • Occupational therapist
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Social worker
  • Developmental specialist
  • Service coordinator
  • Medical doctor

Your local team may not have all of these options available, but they will certainly have some combination of at least a few of these. All of these people have strong working knowledge of their respective fields and can help decipher the assessments. By working together on a multidisciplinary team, they can provide the most comprehensive support for you and your child.

Why does a diagnosis matter?

Research indicates that the earlier a child is diagnosed and receives appropriate intervention, the easier it is to offset the impact of the disability. A diagnosis can help you formulate a plan, along with the team’s guidance, to help your child pursue a quality and meaningful life.

For additional information contact:

Pickaway County Help Me Grow Program
465 E Ohio Street
Circleville, OH  43113
Phone:  740-474-9544
Fax:  740-474-8250

 

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Empower people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, work, and be involved in their community.