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Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Children

Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Children

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results from unique differences in the development of an individual’s brain, which affects how they behave and interact with the world around them. ASD encompasses a broad spectrum, meaning that it may present differently in individuals, with the same core deficits in social communication difficulties and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors being impacted.

The signs of ASD in children & adolescents


The behaviors associated with ASD fall into two broad areas:

  • Deficits in social communication and social interactions

  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities


Some common signs and symptoms of ASD are:

  • lack of social or emotional exchanges

  • lack of non-verbal communication and use of gestures

  • difficulty developing and maintaining relationships appropriate to one’s age, such as peer play and/or lack of friends

  • stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech

  • delayed expressive and receptive language skills

  • poorly modulated eye contact

  • insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior

  • hyper or hypo-reactivity to sensory input, such as sound, pain, or textures

  • restricted or fixated interests


Referral process

Manor Clinic provides ASD assessment services for individuals of all ages, such as children, adolescents, and adults. Guardian/s can refer the child for an assessment or request a referral from someone who is part of the child’s mental health care. Examples of mental health professionals who may put in referrals are family physicians, psychiatrists, or psychologists. Although a referral from someone who is part of one’s mental health care is not necessary to be assessed, it allows our clinic to offer a multidisciplinary approach and to share the results to provide continuity of care with the findings and recommendations from the assessment.


How is ASD diagnosed?

 There is no simple assessment or medical examination that may be used to diagnose individuals with ASD. ASD is clinically diagnosed based on information gathered from a comprehensive psychological interview and evaluation, physical examination (if needed), standardized testing, and the observation of specific behavioral characteristics relating to ASD.


Manor Clinic provides comprehensive ASD assessments by our experienced ASD consultants using the current standardized gold standard assessment tools for diagnosing this developmental disorder, such as the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) or the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2).


Manor Clinic may provide additional screening questionnaires to the guardian/s to complement the findings of the assessment to gather supplementary information as needed. These screening questionnaires need to be completed before the assessment takes place.


What happens if I do not agree with the outcome of the assessment?

 The assessments are conducted as objectively as possible by using standardized testing, such as the ADOS-2 and ADI-R, by gathering information about the child’s presentation and from various sources, including family members, as appropriate, and by conducting a comprehensive assessment from an experienced ASD consultant. There are various mental health challenges that may affect an individual's social interaction and communication that are not solely related to a diagnosis of ASD.


The Manor Clinic team can provide the guardian/s with contact details of the services/professionals who would be able to provide a second opinion on the child’s diagnosis.


Supports and treatments for individuals with ASD

 While there is no cure for ASD, there are a wide variety of interventions, treatments, and therapies that have shown success in reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life for individuals who live with this disorder, as well as their families. A treatment plan depends on the individual’s needs, given the spectrum of the disorder.


Typically, interventions address one or more core areas of functioning:

  • Social skills

  • Communication skills

  • Cognitive skills

  • Academic skills

  • Behavioral skills


Interventions to address comorbid mental health problems (like anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavioral problems/temper tantrums, trauma-related symptoms etc.):

  • Psychological therapies like Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Family Therapy (FT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Social Skills Training, Anger Management training and Emotional Regulation Skills training can be offered after the assessment.

  • Pharmacological interventions for coexisting mental disorders: The autism consultant can connect the child with our in-house psychiatrist, who has experience in supporting individuals with autism. For children with autism and coexisting mental disorders, pharmacological interventions (medications) informed by existing standardized guidance for the specific condition can be discussed with the guardian/s. The psychiatrist can make recommendations to the child's pediatrician, psychiatrist or general practitioner/family physician regarding pharmacological interventions that could benefit the child.


If you want to book an assesment

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