What is the process of getting my child evaluated for autism?

Child during an evaluation for autism

Understanding what the process entails to get your child evaluated for autism. 

Where can I go to get my child evaluated for autism?

There are a couple of things to take into consideration prior to getting your child evaluated for autism.

  1. Discuss your concerns with your primary physician before scheduling an evaluation for your child.
  2. Request a screening for autism. It is recommended that all children be screened at their 18 and 24-month well-child checkup. For a link to the questionnaire, you can go to the autism speaks website.
  3. If your results show that your child may have autism, then schedule a full evaluation to get diagnosed.
  4. Your primary care physician should be able to help you in finding the right qualified physician to diagnose your child.

Just to list some of the most common qualified healthcare professionals who can diagnose ASD:

  • Developmental Pediatrician
  • Pediatrician
  • Pediatric Neurologist
  • Child Psychologist
  • Child Psychiatrist
  • Nurse Practitioner (with training and experience to diagnose ASD)
  • Neuropsychologist

Please note that certain states as well as certain insurances will only approve ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) services if the evaluation was done by a specific qualified health care professional. For more information you can contact our office.

How long does it take to get an appointment to evaluate my child for autism?

  1. In general, it can take 5-6 months on average to get an appointment. However, unfortunately in many states it can take up to a year to get evaluated.
  2. Be familiar with all your options. It is worth a trip to travel to a doctor that can evaluate your child sooner.  Experts agree that starting therapy as soon as possible is the best and most effective means to treat your child’s autism.
  3. Blue Gems ABA is familiar with which doctors can evaluate and help with scheduling appointments. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

What should I expect will be asked during the evaluation?

The parent interview will include a detailed review of the child’s prenatal and birth history, health history, family history, and progression of developmental milestones.

Examples of questions generally asked during the evaluation:

  1. Do you have any relatives with autism?
  2. Did any complications arise during pregnancy?
  3. Are there concerns about the client’s hearing?
  4. At what age did the client reach these milestones such as; sitting up independently, crawl, walk, eat solids, and sleep through the night?
  5. At what age did you suspect the client was not developing normally?
  6. Has the client exhibited any loss of skills in any area?
  7. How does your child engage in play?
  8. Do they play independently?
  9. Do they play with toys appropriately?
  10. How does your child communicate with others?
  11. Do they make eye contact?
  12. Do they respond to their name when called?
  13. Can the client imitate simple gestures (e.g., clapping, waving)?
  14. Can the client imitate simple behaviors using objects (e.g., banging on drum)?
  15. Describe the client’s general gross motor abilities?
  16. Have you observed the client demonstrate any of these behaviors:
  • Self- stimulatory behaviors (e.g., vocal sounds, flapping hands, lining up objects)
  • Self- injurious behaviors (e.g., banging head on hard objects, eye poking)

What do I do after my child is diagnosed with autism?

Receiving an autism diagnosis can be very overwhelming. It is important that you educate yourself and learn how to best help your child and yourself. Make sure you have the support and resources to help navigate you through the process.

Please reach out to Blue Gems, as we have the experience, the right resources, and guidance to helping your child to a better future.