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Testing for Autism and Developmental Delays

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by delays in social skills and communication accompanied by behavioral rigidity and sensory sensitivities.  


According to the CDC, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.


Autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with Autism.

At Brennan Behavior Group, we test for the presence of Autism and/or other developmental delays through a structured parent interview as well as through structured activities and interactive play.  Gold standard tools, such as the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) are used. 

What to expect at your Autism Evaluation appointment?

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder is not a simple process. It involves experienced and highly-trained professionals who gather information from you, your child, and/or other care providers to determine if your child has autism and how best to support them.

How long does the evaluation take?

Depending on your child’s particular needs, age and background, you may have one appointment or multiple appointments, each lasting about two to three hours.

What is the evaluation like?

Our evaluation process has two parts

  1. Parent/caregiver interview – during this portion, the psychologist will meet with you and your child.This meeting is comfortable and informal and usually lasts about an hour.We aim to learn about your child and observe your child in as most natural a way as possible.Feel free to bring toys or snacks for your child.During this meeting, the examiner will ask you questions about your pregnancy, your child’s early development, and about their current functioning. During the interview, the doctor will ask you about things like:

    • Early development

    • Early adaptive living skills

    • Play and social skills

    • Problem behaviors

    • Medical/family history

We want to learn about your child’s strengths and challenges.  Many parents bring a notepad with them to recall all the things they want to talk about during this meeting. At the end of this meeting, you will be given several forms to complete and return during the next meeting.

2.Observation/interaction with your child – this portion is sometimes broken into 2 parts: 1 part with the psychologist and another part with a psychometrician.During the portion with the psychologist, your child and the psychologist will engage in structured play activities. Depending on your child’s age, you may be asked to stay in the room to participate in this activity.The second session is a structured assessment, usually an IQ assessment, completed by a psychometrician.Parents do not typically accompany their children in the testing room during this session.These assessments are intentionally designed with carefully-researched components, and our professionals will work with you and your child to make the evaluation as positive an experience as possible.

When will we know the results?

Once the process is completed, your doctor will meet with you to review the results of the assessment. A formal report will follow in approximately 4 weeks.  Regardless of the evaluation’s results, we will help you understand what is going on and what to do to help your child.

Drawing Together