Getting Started

Getting Started

Call the Autism Center at (727) 767-2886 to schedule your first visit.

Assessment

Some children may go through a team assessment here at our Autism Center as the first step in our team approach to care. The Assessment Team includes:

  • The Child & Parents
  • Developmental Pediatrician
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Applied Behavior Analyst
  • Developmental Testing Specialist (Psychometrist)

Testing

Children seen through the Autism Center are often recommended for testing. Neurobehavioral testing is used to measure thinking skills or social development. Two sessions of testing are typically recommended for each child. One session would look at thinking skills and the other social skills. Some of the standardized assessment tools that are used are the Battelle Developmental Inventory-2nd Edition (BDI-2), Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-2nd Edition (WASI-2), The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-3rd Edition (WPPSI-III) and the Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence-2nd Edition (CTONI-2).

The purpose of this second session is to gather information related to social skills. This is done using tools such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule -2nd Edition (ADOS-2). The purpose of the ADOS-2 is to observe social interaction, play, and creative use of materials. The ADOS-2 is videotaped for scoring purposes.

Parents/Guardians will be asked to give information about their child's growth and development during the visit. The Developmental Pediatrician or Nurse Practitioner will work with the parent/guardian in order to complete the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, 2nd Edition (CARS-2). The CARS-2 combines parent interview with record review and observation to help identify children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition to the CARS-2, parents/guardians may be asked to complete the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ). The SCQ is a screening tool used to assess for possible Autism Spectrum Disorders.

All of the tools that are used in the Autism Clinic serve the purpose of helping to make the appropriate diagnosis for your child. Our staff will gladly answer any questions that you may have regarding the standardized assessments that are used in the Autism Clinic.

Reviewing Results, Planning for Treatment

The Developmental Pediatrician and/or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner will meet with you to discuss the results of the team assessment. They will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan for your child.

During treatment, your child's therapists and medical providers will stay in close communication. The different service areas will work together to help your child make progress-putting the puzzle pieces together to benefit your child and family.