AUTISM SPECTRUM & DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER ASSESSMENT SERVICE

CFIR’s Autism Spectrum & Developmental Disorder Assessment Service provides comprehensive, scientific, evidence-based psychological testing to children, adolescents and adults to render or clarify diagnoses of autism spectrum or developmental disorders.

There is a great deal of research that suggests that early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorders can lead to significant improvements in an individual’s life. An assessment is the first step in the process; we can identify whether a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applicable or not and make recommendations so that appropriate treatment can be put in place in the community as well as at school.

WHAT TYPES OF ASSESSMENTS DO WE OFFER?

An accurate diagnosis of an autism spectrum or developmental disorder is essential to accessing appropriate services. As such our assessments are comprehensive and evaluate the child’s ability to:

  • Function in different environments and complete developmentally appropriate tasks and activities
  • Process information and solve problems
  • Understand social relationships and make use of social skills
  • Use verbal and nonverbal communication appropriately
  • Engage flexibly across environments

When appropriately assessed this information is used in conjunction with observations and interviews to identify if a child meets criteria for a specific condition and appropriate recommendations are provided to parents.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I, MY CHILD, OR A LOVED ONE NEEDS AN AUTISM SPECTRUM OR DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER ASSESSMENT?

Do any of these items apply to you?

  • Difficulties or lack of interest in relationships (e.g., developing appropriate social skills)
  • Difficulties in verbal communication (e.g., delays in speech, lack of speech, repeating words or phrases)
  • Difficulties related to nonverbal communication (e.g., lack of eye contact, use of gestures, inappropriate facial responses to emotions or situations)
  • Difficulties understanding other people’s feelings or expressing your own
  • Challenges managing changes in routine
  • Intense interests that can appear obsessive
  • Unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

IF YOU SAID YES TO ANY OF THE ABOVE you might consider meeting with one of the highly trained mental health professionals in CFIR’s Autism Spectrum & Developmental Disorder Assessment Service. Our mental health professionals can provide you with a comprehensive assessment and then support you to get the help you may need.

HOW CAN I GET A REFERRAL TO YOUR SERVICE? WHO CAN REFER TO THIS SERVICE?

You can refer yourself, your child or a loved one to our service.

Health care professionals, including physicians, pediatricians, psychologists, and social workers may also refer to our program. Teachers, guidance counselors and other educational consultants can refer to the service.

WHAT’S INVOLVED IN AUTISM SPECTRUM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER ASSESSMENTS? HOW LONG WILL THE ASSESSMENTS TAKE?

Autism spectrum and developmental disorder assessments are comprehensive. Typically, they begin with an initial clinical interview to understand your concerns and struggles as well as your psychological history. Following the initial meeting, we will administer a wide range of scientific, evidence-based questionnaires to you and other individuals who know you well (e.g., a parent, a teacher). We also complete cognitive tests that identify strengths and weaknesses in a child’s ability to process information and solve problems. When an autism spectrum disorder is suspected we make use of specific tests that assess a wide range of social communication skills and help identify restricted patterns of behaviour/interests. Following this process, your clinical psychologist will bring together results of the clinical interview, questionnaires, and additional tests and may require a subsequent session to further clarify his or her understanding of your difficulties. A diagnosis is rendered or clarified on the basis of this process, and recommendations for treatment are provided. You will be given feedback on the results of the assessment, and all your questions about the results will be addressed.

The entire assessment process, which includes an initial session, clinical interviews and administration of scientific, evidence-based tests and measures, assessment feedback, and a report with recommendations (if needed), will take approximately four to eight weeks. Please consult with one of our clinical psychologists to determine the length of time required to complete your particular assessment.

WHAT TYPE OF REPORTS OR RECOMMENDATIONS MIGHT I EXPECT?

Upon assessment and feedback, our clinical psychologists will provide you with an assessment report that outlines the results of the assessment and provides a full and thorough list of recommendations to support you to address areas of concern. Recommendations are tailored to the individual and typically address any supports that may be required for the individual at home, school/work, and in the community.

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Our registered psychologists are proudly affiliated as clinical supervisors with the following universities:

  • UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA

  • UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

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