The Clinical Service Coordinator (CSC) will be the initial contact for families of children referred for questions of an autism spectrum disorder. When a child under the age of 4 years old is referred for a question of an autism spectrum disorder, the CSC will call to schedule an initial consultation with the family within three weeks of the referral. As part of this meeting, the CSC will introduce the family to the Autism Program; provide information regarding autism spectrum disorders; and gather initial information regarding primary concerns, medical history, and treatment history. With this information, the CSC will determine the most appropriate services needed through the Autism Program or Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.
For children age 4 years old and over, families will receive a packet of paperwork upon receipt of a referral in our office. Once this paperwork is completed and returned to our office, a CSC will review the paperwork and make an appropriate recommendation for services within our office. Often, families will be contacted by phone to clarify and discuss the information provided in the paperwork in order to help make the most appropriate decision. In some cases, it is determined that our services are not appropriate for a particular child. In those cases, the family will be notified and recommendations for alternate services are shared.
There are several different types of evaluations. The type of evaluation recommended will be determined by the presenting concerns and needs of the child as described above. All evaluations utilize the gold standard measures for assessing autism and are conducted by physicians, psychologists and/or trainees under their supervision who have specialty training and experience in autism spectrum disorders.
Children 3 years of age and younger may participate in an arena assessment. Children and their caregivers will initially meet with a psychologist or a psychology trainee for an initial diagnostic interview using standardized autism measures. Subsequent to this, the child will participate in a joint evaluation session with the psychologist and a developmental-behavioral pediatrician or trainee that includes a medical evaluation and specific autism assessment measures with the child. At the end of this evaluation session, diagnostic impressions and recommendations will be shared with the family.
School aged children may participate in individual evaluation sessions with a psychologist and/or developmental-behavioral pediatrician. These will be multiple visit assessments. Results and recommendations will be shared with the families during an informing conference.