Developmental Medicine

Our developmental medicine psychologists are here to make sure that each child receives the most effective, up-to-date care available.

Assessing Autism Spectrum Disorder

The main role of our developmental medicine psychologists is to assess if a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014), approximately 1 of 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with ASD, making it one of the most common developmental disabilities.

ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that includes symptoms such as:

  • Problems with communication and social skills.
  • Narrow, repetitive patterns of behavior.

When children see a developmental medicine psychologist, the main question should be to decide the presence or absence of ASD.

Evaluations typically take two to three hours and consist of:

  • Review of records obtained from teachers, early intervention therapists, and other providers.
  • Clinical interview with the child’s parents or primary caregivers.
  • Assessment with standardized developmental, cognitive, and behavioral assessments such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

Psychologists use the information from the evaluation to:

  • Inform diagnosis and conceptualization of the child’s most pressing needs.
  • Establish treatment recommendations.
  • Connect parents and caregivers with the most appropriate interventions for their children.

When a child does not have ASD, these experts provide evidence-based alternative diagnoses and treatment plans.

Other disorders could include:

  • Anxiety
  • Specific fears
  • Communication disorders
  • Movement disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Selective mutism
  • Disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders

Meet Our Developmental Medicine Psychology Team

Developmental medicine psychologists have a strong commitment to:

  • Continuing education.
  • Evidence-based practice.
  • Training students in the medical and behavioral health fields.