Developmental Evaluations Explained

Developmental evaluations provide the means by which a complete understanding of your child’s cognitive, language, and motor development as well as his/her social skills, temperament/behavior, and adaptive functioning relative to other children his/her age is obtained.

We provide evaluations designed to screen or diagnose developmental delay and autism spectrum disorders. We additionally conduct evaluations to clarify the unique needs of individuals who are suspected of having, or who have received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder.  Similar evaluations are available for youngsters struggling with social challenges but who do not fall on the autism spectrum. 

What to Expect

Our developmental evaluations consist of three appointments: a diagnostic interview with the parent(s) and two subsequent testing appointments. 

1.The diagnostic interview appointment is a one-hour meeting with you, the parent(s), designed to gather detailed information about your child's medical, family, developmental, and behavioral history. The evaluator will additionally ask you to describe in detail, your child's  current symptoms as well as your overall goals for the evaluation.

You will be requested to complete parent rating scales as well as given forms to be completed your child’s teacher or other caregivers upon completing the diagnostic interview.

To assist in the data gathering process, we request that you bring copies of your child's most recent report cards, work samples,  Individualized Educational Plans (IEP), and any assessments completed by the school. If your child has had any psychological testing at school or privately, please bring this with you as well. 

2. Testing appointments: Your child will subsequently participate in two 2-3-hour testing appointments. These appointments will involve direct evaluation and will include the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) to assess social functioning. The testing appointments generally include an assessment of your child's: 

  • Cognitive abilities or developmental level
  • Social interaction
  • Communication/Language
  • Emotional functioning
  • Behavior
  • Adaptive skill

A feedback session will be scheduled with you to discuss your child's strengths and weaknesses, diagnosis (if applicable), and recommendations approximately four weeks after the completion of the second testing session.  You will receive a full written report summarizing your child's results during the feedback session.

 What Can Parents Do to Prepare for the Diagnostic Interview?

♦ Review baby books for developmental milestones

♦ Bring copies of previous evaluations and your child’s individualized education plan (IEP) if applicable

What Can Parents Do to Prepare for the Testing Appointment?

  • Bring your child’s glasses and hearing aids, if he/she has either.
  • Ensure that your child gets a good night's sleep
  • Make sure that your child eats a good breakfast
  • Plan for extra travel time due to morning traffic

All testing appointments begin at 9:00am. Please note that it is important to be on time so that all of the testing measures can be completed within your scheduled testing block.