There are a variety of services that a clinician could recommend following a diagnostic evaluation. All of these recommendations are based on the outcome of the evaluation and where the clinician believes a child would benefit from therapeutic intervention or support. Parent involvement is essential in this process, since parents know their children best and will have preferences
Below is a list of some services that could be recommended after a diagnostic evaluation.
Speech Therapy: Speech therapy can help children with developmental delays and speech and language disorders improve their communication skills, including:
- Expressive language: or ability to express themselves verbally and nonverbally; and
- Receptive language: or ability to understand and interpret what others say
- Speech prosody: which involves stress and intonation in spoken language
- Interpreting gestures and facial expressions
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): which provides assistance with, or alternative means of communication for children struggling with speech
ABA Therapy: ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis is a therapy used to treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and involves encouraging positive forms of behavior and discouraging or providing alternatives to negative forms. ABA Therapy can help improve and increase a child’s independence by helping them gain and refine skills such as:
- Manding: or making appropriate verbal or nonverbal requests based on their wants and needs
- Tacting: or the ability to correctly label familiar objects in their environment
- Chaining: the ability to complete multi-step sequences such as making a sandwich or putting on shoes.
Occupational Therapy: Occupational Therapy can help children with developmental disorders complete everyday tasks such as:
- Play activities: these include games, puzzles, drawing, and climbing
- Self-care needs: such as dressing, bathing, and using utensils for eating and drinking without assistance
- School activities: including writing, using scissors, and playing on a jungle gym structure
- Sensory processing: moving through different spaces and walking on various surfaces, such as the change from pavement to grass.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy often works in conjunction with occupational therapy to help children with autism and other developmental disorders improve their balance and muscle tone in order to move more independently through their daily routines. Physical therapists can help children with skills such as:
- Gross motor skills: walking, running, sitting and standing
- Coordination: balance skills, climbing, and using stairs
- Physical independence: being able to move through house/classroom independently without help and completing physical tasks like getting on and off a chair
Do you have questions about the diagnostic evaluation process? Contact the Goldman Center to speak with one of our specialists who can answer all of your questions at (773) 998-8500.
“Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treatment.” Spectrum Disorder: Assessment, ASHA, https://www.asha.org/PRPSpecificTopic.aspx?folderid=8589935303§ion=Treatment.
“Echoics, Mands, Tacts.” Let’s Learn ABA, Let’s Learn ABA, 4 Nov. 2018, https://www.letslearnaba.com/aba-terms/echoics-mands-tacts/.
“Understanding Chaining in ABA.” The Behavior Exchange, The Behavior Exchange, 20 Aug. 2018, https://www.behaviorexchange.com/blog/2018/09/understanding-chaining-in-aba.
“Occupational Therapy for Children on the Autism Spectrum.” Center for Autism Research, Center for Autism Research, 2020, https://www.carautismroadmap.org/the-role-of-pediatric-occupational-therapy-for-children-with-asd/.
“The Role of Pediatric Physical Therapist for Children on the Autism Spectrum.” Center for Autism Research, Center for Autism Research, 2020, https://www.carautismroadmap.org/the-role-of-the-pediatric-physical-therapist-for-children-with-autism-spectrum-disorder/.