The best practice at this time is an evaluation by a group of professionals who have experience in working and evaluating children with autism.  This usually includes:

  • A medical professional who gets detailed information about the child’s medical, development and family history
  • A psychologist who measures the child’s developmental/cognitive level and their adaptive skills
  • A speech therapist who is able to measure the child’s speech and language skills
  • A measure of the child’s social interactions either by direct observation, engaging in structured assessment of play skills (by a test called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2nd ED) or by rating scales.
  • This assessment can also include occupational therapists who assess fine motor and sensory processing issues
  • Physical therapists who can assess for gross motor issues 

This Autism Speaks link provide excellent information about ASD comprehensive evaluations.  If you continue to look at this site, it also provides links to the Autism Speaks video glossary.  These short videos compare typically developmental children to children with ASD.  They can be information and helpful.  It also provides information about sites around the country who are affiliated with Autism Speaks as Autism Treatment Network sites.  Here in Arkansas, we are privileged to be one of these 14 sites.