Autism Diagnosis and Treatment
For over 20 years, Easter Seals has been diagnosing autism, under the direction of Ellen L. Kitts, MD. During this time there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people with autism that Easter Seals serves. So, in keeping with the mission to create solutions that change lives, Easter Seals has put together a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to not only diagnose autism but help the families get the answers and services that they need. The team includes: a medical director, a social worker, a speech-language pathologist, an occupation and other developmental specialists.
This multi-disciplinary team has been trained in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). This is a semi-structured, standardized assessment of communication, social interaction, and play or imaginative use of materials for individuals who have been referred because of possible autism diagnosis. The ADOS consists of standard activities that allow the examiner to observe behaviors that have been identified as important to the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders at different developmental levels and chronological ages.
Easter Seals is utilizing the ADOS because of its ability to establish differential diagnosis between autism and a variety of developmental disabilities. The team uses these results in collaboration with Dr. Kitts’ evaluation to formulate the appropriate diagnosis.
If the diagnosis is on the autism spectrum, the team will create a plan to help the family receive the necessary services. Otherwise, Easter Seals will continue to assess the child until needs are met.