E. Screening and Assessments for Autism
Assessments are essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the child across various domains like Motor skills, Activities of daily living, Social skills, Verbal & Non-verbal Communication skills, Cognitive skills, Emotional skills, Behaviors, Sensory profile, Play skills, etc. The results of these assessments will help us discover the diagnosis, and formulate a customized treatment plan for your child. Treatment plans will help your child cope better, learn, and communicate.
Screenings are a time-efficient way to determine if there is a presence/ absence of a problem and to provide the professional with a baseline for a detailed evaluation. Screening assessment may be carried out with tools like the M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers), SCQ (Social Communication Questionnaire), CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale), etc.
Detailed evaluations/ assessments help us understand the depths of the condition. These assessments involve parental interviews to obtain family history, medical history, and educational history. It also involves interactions with the child to understand the exhibiting symptoms, and the use of standardized tools for screening and assessments. Standardized questionnaires on developmental milestones and social functioning are filled to get a deeper understanding of the effect of ASD on social participation.
Diagnoses are made based on the Internationally and Nationally standardized diagnostic tools such as DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- 5th edition), ISAA (Indian Scale for Assessment of Autism), INCLEN Diagnostic Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder (INDT-ASD) that are administered during detailed evaluation.
Once the child is diagnosed, it is important to remember that autism is a lifelong condition and we are not trying to get rid of it. The aim is to support your child’s development and learning through therapy services to build upon their abilities, help them communicate, help them regulate problematic behavior, and improve social skills. With the right kind of support, your autistic child will be able to lead an independent life.