A Three-Step Process For Getting To Know Your Child
At The Emerge Center in Baton Rouge, we follow a thorough evaluation process for diagnosing an Autism Spectrum Disorder. This will provide us with valuable insights into areas such as your child’s language skills, adaptive behaviors (self-help skills such as feeding, dressing, etc.) and social behaviors (making friends, interacting with others, playing with toys).
Our assessments are comprehensive and can include:
- Parent reports – Your thoughts on your child’s behavior and concerns you may have.
- Observations by our staff.
- Testing of your child.
- Teacher and caregiver reports.
Our goal is to collect as much information from as many people as possible who interact with your child on a regular basis. We’re looking for consistencies…everyone should be having similar experiences. This information helps ensure a more accurate diagnosis.
We offer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) to get a clearer picture of how your child processes various types of information. We also offer additional testing through our Behavioral Services department.
Step One: The Intake Interview
The first step in our autism evaluations is the intake interview. This will help us gain a more comprehensive understanding of your child’s history, what challenges he or she may be struggling with and other related issues.
During this interview, we’re going to look at your child’s abilities in these key areas:
- Language – Where your child is now regarding language usage in comparison to where he or she should be.
- Adaptive behaviors – How are his or her self-help skills like feeding, dressing and related activities?
- Social behaviors – How does your child do when it comes to behaviors such as making friends, interacting with others and playing with toys?
What You Can Expect
Here’s what you can expect during your intake interview:
- Our interview will last approximately one hour and generally takes place in one of our meeting rooms.
- We will meet with just you and other family members. We do this so that our conversation can be open and the family is comfortable with sharing details and observations.
- Our goal is to get as much background information as possible.
For this meeting, please bring your child’s medical records, medical tests, academic records, and any previous evaluations.
Step Two: The Evaluation
Once we’ve had an opportunity to review all the information from the intake interview, we may then set up a formal evaluation of your child.
What You Can Expect
Here’s what you can expect during Autism evaluations:
- The meeting will take approximately one hour, and will include your child as well as immediate family members.
- Observations from the intake interview will be discussed.
- What was learned from reviewing your child’s records and tests will also be discussed.
- We’ll ask any additional questions that we might have.
- We’ll observe your child’s communicative and social skills in a play setting.
Assessment and Planning
Because every child is unique, it’s difficult to predict the extent of testing that will be necessary. We may think only a few certain tests need to be performed, only to discover that more extensive testing is needed to get the full picture.
Step Three: The Final Diagnosis
In the final meeting, you will be provided with a detailed report explaining the testing that was performed and summarizing the various interviews. We will also take the time necessary to answer any questions you may have. You may be given a diagnosis at this time. This information can be shared with other health providers if further treatment is needed or with your child’s school for educational planning purposes. There are various therapeutic options available, and we will design a treatment plan that works best for your child.