Embarking on an autism diagnostic evaluation for your child can seem daunting and complex. Here at Behavioral Innovations, we aim to simplify this process by providing clarity on what to expect during your child's evaluation journey. In this guide, we'll outline the key components and steps involved in our diagnostic evaluation, providing an overview of the thorough and compassionate approach we employ to understand your child's unique needs.
If you are looking for autism evaluations and diagnostic support in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, or Denver area, contact us by submitting a short form to schedule an evaluation today.
Preparing for Your Child's Evaluation
Your child’s evaluation process starts once it's scheduled. You will receive a detailed email that includes important consent documents. These need to be reviewed and signed electronically before the evaluation appointment. One such document is the release of information (ROI) form, which grants the evaluator permission to liaise with other professionals your child may be interacting with, such as speech or occupational therapists, and teachers. Gathering information from all relevant sources enhances the diagnostic process.
The email will also contain links to two online standardized assessments. These tools assist the evaluator in recognizing symptoms, behaviors, and potential indicators of neurodevelopmental disorders. It's crucial to complete these assessments at least one week before the evaluation appointment, as the evaluator needs time to review the data.
In the run-up to the appointment, please upload copies of any earlier evaluations or written summaries from your child’s providers to your Central Reach portal. Having this information available well in advance gives the evaluator enough time to review it thoroughly.
On the Day of the Evaluation
Gathering Background Information
At the appointment, the evaluator will spend 1.5 to 2 hours with you gathering detailed background information about your child and their history. Since this can be a long period for your child, we recommend bringing along items that will make them comfortable and entertained, such as a favorite toy or an iPad.
Observing Your Child
The evaluator will spend about an hour observing and evaluating your child's behavior. Depending on your child's age and language abilities, you may or may not be in the room. The evaluator might involve you in certain aspects of the evaluation. Just follow their lead - there's nothing specific you need to prepare for this part.
Given the extensive content to be covered, please arrive around 10-15 minutes before the scheduled evaluation time. This will allow your child to acclimate to the environment and use the bathroom if needed.
We hope this article has shed light on the diagnostic process. Should you have further questions or concerns, please contact our Lead Patient Coordinator at 469.351.4204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Dr. Melissa Miller
Dr. Melissa Miller is a Licensed Psychologist with two decades of clinical experience working with children and adults. Having earned her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University, Dr. Miller has focused her career on evidence-based assessment and treatment, drawing from the latest research to inform her clinical practice.
Her specialties include autism, ADHD, intellectual/cognitive, and psychological assessments. She is passionate about early intervention, particularly for children with autism, and considers it a privilege to help families navigate these crucial evaluations.