R.E.A.C.H. Diagnostic Clinic
Do you suspect your child may have autism? Please discuss your concerns openly and thoroughly with your child’s pediatrician and feel free to use our Autism Symptom Checklist which you can print to share during your appointment. Please be proactive and remember that research has taught us the importance of early identification and appropriate intervention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided helpful information we encourage you to reference within their “Learn the signs. Act Early.” campaign.
The REACH diagnostic clinic assesses children as young as 24 months of age to determine if the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is appropriate. Referral from your child’s Primary Care Physician (Pediatrician) is required. We use an interdisciplinary team approach to diagnose and care for your child’s needs while considering all unique medical, developmental, behavioral and educational needs. At the conclusion of the diagnostic appointment, the REACH program offers assistance to help you connect with any needed treatment and support services within your community.
An interdisciplinary team of clinicians will see you and your child at the diagnostic appointment. The evaluation process includes:
- An in-depth review of your child’s records is completed prior to your appointment (Please note: It is vitally important that you provide detailed and accurate information as well as all previous evaluations to be considered carefully during this process);
- A detailed intake interview including developmental history from parents or caregivers is completed with our Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) in order to comprehensively gather information about your family history of medical and developmental disorders, your child’s social environment and acquisition or lack of achievement of developmental milestones, etc.;
- Administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) is completed;
- Speech-language, occupational, physical evaluations are completed by therapists trained specifically to work with children suspected of ASD;
- A medical examination and consultation is available with Dr. Janna Jennings, a Pediatrician specializing in serving children with unique abilities;
- Evaluation of your child’s social skills through observations and play interactions;
- Additionally, a Psychological Evaluation and Functional Behavior Assessment (for an ABA program) can be scheduled on a supplemental basis as well.
- Following the evaluation, our team will meet to discuss possible diagnoses and thorough recommendations for your child and your family. After that time, a diagnostic consultation session is scheduled with our Certified Autism Specialist. A detailed report of the clinical findings will be provided for you at that time along with comfort and guidance for the next steps to take in order to best assist your child’s success moving forward.
An autism diagnosis does not have to be an isolating experience. It will be our pleasure to help you find other parents and families to share support, experience and hope. In addition, we offer classes to help you understand your child’s diagnosis and give individual guidance on taking the next steps forward. Since there is no single treatment for autism, we can help you learn about the various treatment options available. We value our responsibility to educate families regarding evidence-based treatment options in order to confidently advocate for your child.
This process can be lengthy depending on the behavior and developmental level of your child, among other factors. Therefore, we ask that you prepare to spend 2.5 to 3.5 hours at the REACH clinic on your appointment date. Please bring snacks and other comfort items, wear comfortable clothes, and make arrangements for childcare for the patient’s siblings if needed.