The Sunfield Center Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Service provides evaluations by highly qualified psychologists using gold-standard assessment instruments. We use the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), which is a comprehensive parent interview designed to obtain information regarding developmental history as well as the presence of symptoms that are usually seen in individuals with ASD. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is also used in order to give clinicians the opportunity to observe and interact with the individual to further evaluate ASD symptoms. In addition to the ADI-R and the ADOS, developmental and intellectual measures are administered to obtain an estimate of cognitive functioning. We use standardized assessments for children as young as 18 months of age; however, we will evaluate toddlers as young as 12 months of age (as long as they are able to walk) to identify early red flags. Our psychologists are trained and reliable in using the ADOS with toddlers as young as 12 months for research purposes, and will use this measure clinically at Sunfield Center when it is made available by the publishers for clinical use.
Prior to the evaluation, patients are asked to complete and return a packet of forms, which will be reviewed before their scheduled appointment. The evaluation will take place on two separate days. On the first day, the parent/guardian will be interviewed for a period of approximately 4 hours. During the second appointment, the patient will complete the ADOS and a cognitive measure. Feedback with regard to diagnosis and treatment recommendations is then scheduled approximately two weeks from the initial appointment. A written report summarizing the findings of the evaluation is mailed to the patient within three to six weeks after the final appointment.