Comprehensive Assessment

The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment provides state-of-the-art clinical assessments. Such comprehensive evaluations facilitate the development of the optimal treatment plan for each patient. Our assessments include the following areas of testing.

Diagnostic Testing uses gold standard diagnostic instruments to provide the highest level of sensitivity and specificity in making the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Clinicians with highly specialized training utilize several assessment tools, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R).

IQ/Cognitive Testing is individualized based on a patient's age and language ability. The experience of our clinicians with the distinct learning styles of individuals with autism and related conditions facilitates testing with diverse populations and yields optimal assessments of cognitive functioning.

Academic Achievement Testing is used to determine how a student is functioning relative to grade- and age-based expectations across different subject areas (reading, writing, and mathematics). By identifying areas that require additional support or a special education curriculum, test results are used to ensure that students receive adequate educational accommodations. Results are often used to tailor individualized education plans (IEPs) already in place through a student’s school district.

Psycho-educational Evaluations include a psychosocial history, cognitive testing, achievement testing, and an assessment of adaptive functioning. These evaluations are recommended every three years at minimum in order to update treatment recommendations.

Neuropsychological Evaluations examine cognitive, attention, language, motor, and executive functioning abilities. Every testing battery is individualized based on the presenting problem or reason for referral. Results are integrated with other aspects of an evaluation to assess individual strengths and weaknesses, inform diagnoses (e.g., ADHD, learning problems), and develop treatment plans that maximize potential and target areas of difficulty for each patient.

Behavioral/Personality Testing includes evaluation of differential diagnoses and co-morbid behaviors (e.g., anxiety, disruptive behaviors). In addition, projective testing may be utilized to better understand diagnostic comorbidity in a given patient. Projective Testing provides information about individuals' personality characteristics, self-esteem, and coping skills, among other domains.

Psychiatric Evaluations are performed to obtain a comprehensive review of psychiatric symptoms to better understand the associated features and diagnostic comorbidity of autism and related conditions. Because autism is a complex and heterogeneous disorder, the results of these evaluations are crucial to optimizing treatment outcomes. Our clinicians gather important information about every patient's medical, developmental, and family histories. We also conduct a thorough review of systems to determine the need for medical consultation with our colleagues specializing in gastrointestinal disease, neurological disorders including epilepsy, allergy and immunology, eating and weight disorders, nutrition, sleep medicine, and many others.