Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) represent a continuum of disorders characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The new revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) re-categorized a number of formerly classifed distinct conditions (Autism, Asperger’s Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, NOS) into a continuum of disorder called Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Evaluation of the spectrum of Autism is multifaceted and, at its’ best, multidisciplinary. Further, the evaluation of ASD is often sequential and therefore often requires more than one evaluation appointment. At WPA, Dr. Wilson utilizes the current gold-standard neurodevelopmental/behavioral ASD evaluation methods including:
- Social Responsiveness Scale – 2 (An ASD screening rating form completed by those familiar with the patient and the patient himself, if he/she is an adult)
- Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (A semi-structured clinical interview with those familiar with the patient’s behavior, particularly in early development periods with special focus on ASD symptoms)
- Autism Diagnostic Observation System – II (An direct clinical testing for behaviors associated with ASD)
- Leiter International Performance Scale – III / Comprehensive Test of Noverbal Intelligence – 2/ Test of Nonverbal Intelligence – 4 (Non-verbal tests of intellectual capacity)
- Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales – 3 (A survey or rating form administered evaluation of current adaptive behavior functioning across nine different areas of functioning)
- Behavior Assessment System for Children – 3/Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist System (Collateral behavior rating forms that assess functioning across a number of functional and dysfunctional behavior areas)
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – V / Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – IV / Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – IV (Standardized individual scales of intellectual capacity)
- Personality Assessment Inventory/Millon Clinical Inventories (Personality and Clinical Syndrome Self-report Measures)
- Conners Continuous Performance Tests (Computerized assessments of attention, sustained attention, vigilance and impulse control)
- And, others as necessary.
These evaluation methods are combined in a flexible battery approach to achieve a comprehensive evaluative picture of the patient’s functioning, strengths and weaknesses. These data are then utillized for both diagnostic and treatment planning purposes.
Those seeking evaluation for an ASD may rest assured that the evaluation they receive will comprehensively identify, confirm or rule out neurodevelopmental/behavioral symptoms associated with an ASD and will be offered relevant, patient-specific recommendations following the evaluation, which include other disciplinary referrals (i.e., Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Developmental Pediatrics).