Clinical Assessment and Ongoing Clinical Care
Diagnoses, evaluations and recommendations for appropriate educational and medical therapies are provided by board-certified developmental and behavioral pediatricians and trainees in developmental and behavioral pediatrics who are directly supervised by attending physicians. Initial evaluations consist of three visits:
- A “triage” visit in which the parent or guardian meets with a nurse practitioner to provide history, documents from prior evaluations and educational services and completed behavioral questionnaires from parents and teachers
- A “testing” visit which occurs after all needed documents have been collected, and is an extended developmental evaluation to assess the child’s social communication skills, language and development
- A “feedback” session in which results and recommendations are discussed with the parents
Parents and referring pediatric providers are supplied with comprehensive reports documenting each of these visits.
After the initial evaluation, ongoing follow-up is scheduled as needed, based on the age, medical and educational needs of the child and family. All families of children diagnosed with ASD are given access to an autism resource specialist who provides additional written information about ASD and community resources, and who provides ongoing support in concert with the clinical providers. The resource specialist often meets with families at the time of diagnosis to help clarify next steps and recommendations given by our providers.
Parent Workshops The PAC staff runs periodic seminars for parents, including a multi-session series called “Everyday Behavior Problems and Solutions.” Topics covered in these sessions include:
- strategies to increase the child’s communication
- techniques to decrease undesired behavior such as aggression, self-injury, property destruction and non-compliance
- methods to structure the home environment and increase the child’s independence
- individual consultation with each family to create a targeted behavior plan to address each child’s unique challenges
Workshops on single focused topics such as “Picky Eating” and “Toilet Training,” are also held periodically. Workshops are provided with interpreters to assist non-English speaking families.