What Are Signs That My Child May Need Early Assessment And Intervention?
The most common reason that for children between the ages of 2 and 4 to come in for an assessment is that they have not met some or all of their early milestones. That may include delays in speech and language, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and social skills. If you think your child may be delayed the CDC has put together a comprehensive list of early milestones that you can find at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html
Why And When Should Children Get Tested?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened for general development using standardized, validated tools at 9, 18, or 30 months and for autism at 18 and 24 months or whenever a parent or provider has a concern. If your child is delayed it is so important to have an early diagnosis so that treatment can start early. By the age of 2 if early milestones are delayed such as speech and language, social skills, and gross and fine motor skills, it is important to schedule a full evaluation to see what is causing the delay. You want to use the services of a psychologist who specializes in testing for autism and developmental delays.
What Is The Best Way To Diagnose Autism And Developmental Delays In Children?
Although you can speak to your doctor or pediatrician about your symptoms, it is important to get a full evaluation by a psychologist that specializes in psychoeducational assessments for young children. The evaluation will vary depending on the age of the individual. Younger children will be given assessments such as the CARS, MIGDAS Diagnostic and Parent Survey to assess for autism, the BASC to assess for attentional capacity, executive and adaptive functioning, and other similar constructs, and the Bayleys-4 to assess cognitive abilities, language skills, and gross and fine motor skills. Children over 4 will be given batteries that include an intelligence test such as the RIAS, an achievement test such as the WJ-V, a memory test such as the WRAML-2 that also measures attentional capacity, the MIGDAS Diagnostic and Parent Interview and the GARS to assess for autism, and the BRIEF and CAT-C to measure executive functioning and attentional capacity. Other measure may be added or eliminated based on the symptoms of the child.
What Happens If My Child Is Diagnosed with Autism or a Developmental Delay?
Early Steps is Florida’s early intervention system that offers services for eligible infants and toddlers, age birth to 36 months, who have or are at-risk for developmental disabilities or delays. https://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/childrens-health/early-steps/index.html
After age 3 your child will transition to a private or public-school program in the community that meets their needs.
The following resources might be helpful to better understand your options as a parent.