How to Help Your Child Socialize

Creating relationships and maintaining them is a skill that is constantly developing and refining throughout our entire lives. Friendships are important for social support, the buildup of self-esteem, and the overall enhancement of life. It all begins as a child at playtime with peers. Sometimes children can have a hard time establishing friendships or being social. It can be due …

Receiving an autism diagnosis: An overview

Determining whether your child needs a diagnostic evaluation for autism, as well as figuring out how to get one, can feel overwhelming and uncertain. Our goal is to help parents navigate this process in a way that feels comfortable for their family. We know that this process can look different for every family. Below are some helpful steps to be …

What is oppositional defiant disorder?

Neuropsychological testing or evaluations can assess various aspects of development, including behavior. Some families may receive referrals for evaluations to assess challenging behaviors and diagnose or rule out disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs). Below is an overview of DBDs to provide more insight. What are DBDs? Children with DBDs have ongoing patterns of uncooperative and defiant behavior that impacts those around …

Why is it critical to be aware of a speech & language regression?

What is speech and language regression? Speech and language regression refers to the decline in a young child’s speech and communication abilities. Research has shown that the loss of any previous speech and language skills may indicate a greater underlying developmental or cognitive concerns. There are a few potential developmental disorders that could be related a language regression, such as …

What does a diagnostic evaluation look like for a toddler?

A diagnostic evaluation is a combination of a series of assessments, observations, parent reports, and interviews used to test and diagnose behavioral and developmental disorders. Clinicians typically look at a range of developmental domains and skills when diagnosing these disorders. Some signs that clinicians assess include: Body structure and function impairments: strengths and weaknesses associated with certain developmental disorders Developmental …

Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Parents may often explore diagnostic evaluations or neuropsychological testing if they suspect that their children are showing signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autism). A diagnostic evaluation can provide insights into how children learn best, which helps to determine services or support that might be beneficial to promote progress. During an evaluation, the clinician (e.g., pediatric neuropsychologist, developmental pediatrician) …

What is a pre-diagnostic screening for autism?

A pre-diagnostic screening for autism helps to assess whether a child is showing any initial markers or signs of autism, developmental delays, or other disorders. Depending on the concerns of the parent or behaviors a child is demonstrating, a pediatrician may recommend one or more developmental screenings before referring families to full neuropsychological testing (or a diagnostic evaluation). Children who …

What is a standardized assessment?

Standardized assessments are frequently used in the process of neuropsychological testing and diagnostic evaluations. A standardized assessment is a test consisting of a set of questions pulled from a common bank. All test takers are required to answer the same questions so the test can be scored in a consistent manner. Utilizing a set of questions allows the opportunity to …

Who provides a diagnostic evaluation?

A range of clinicians and professionals can administer a diagnostic evaluation. These professionals have experience and may specialize in different areas of the diagnostic evaluation process, such as early developmental screenings, child observation, and administering standardized tests like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition (ADOS-2). The following is a list of some professionals who provide diagnostic evaluations and screenings. Developmental …

The role of a pediatric psychologist in a diagnostic evaluation

Pediatric neuropsychologists often conduct the most significant portions of the diagnostic evaluation, including the initial intake meeting with the parent and child, test administration, and feedback meeting (to discuss the results of the evaluation). Why consult a clinical psychologist? Clinical psychologists are clinicians who have PhDs (doctoral degrees) and can specialize in a number of different areas of interest within …