Autism Spectrum Disorder:
Autism Facts, Getting a Diagnosis:
#1: Autism is now a classified as a spectrum-based disorder. Specifically, Aspergers Disorder is no longer a diagnostic possibility with the DSM-5.
#2: A new disorder called Social/Pragmatic Language Disorder is in the DSM-5 and it characterizes an individual that does not meet the full diagnostic criteria of Autism including restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors, yet still displays the pragmatic language deficits that cause social problems. In some cases, those diagnosed with Aspergers disorder will meet this condition rather than the new DSM-5 condition if a well established diagnosis is not present.
#3: Compiling a diagnosis for an Autistic/Autism Spectrum Disorder involves an intesene amount of background investigation as well as a great deal of psychological and neuropsychological testing. The rule out of additional or conflicting conditions, detailed psychological and neuropsychological testing, and a significant amount of detailed collateral information from multiple sources is the best way to diagnose an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Chambers is under the impression that an individualized assessment is necessary, based upon the goals of the patient and/or his or her parents and whether access to public services such as the San Andreas Regional Center [or a local Regional Center] is the primary goal. The more stringent the agency guidelines the more comprehensive and detailed the assessment needs to be. If you are seeking academic accommodations make sure that you understand your universities policy.
Autism Assessments with Dr. Chambers:
Autism Assessments: An Autism Spectrum evaluation is similar to a learning disability evaluation. Many components of neuropsychological testing are the same. The assessment of intelligence, a clinical interview, collateral resources, academic functioning, executive dysfunction, learning and memory, adaptive functioning, pragmatic/social language ability, mental health variables, and visual motor skills, are all usually included. An evaluation of autism behaviors now and in one’s history is also paramount. An Autism Evaluation typically requires 6-12 hours in person. This can typically be completed in 1-3 visits depending on the level functioning and the desired outcome [e.g., Regional Center, IEP, 504 Plan, Accommodations etc.].