ASA's 37th National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders (July 13-15, 2006)
|Saturday, July 15, 2006: 8:15 AM-9:30 AM|
|#2173- Is It Autism or ? Accurate Assessment by Practitioners|
|The assessment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is complex and may result in inaccurate assessment results and ineffective interventions. Best practice assessment includes measures that determine ASD and measures that identify the child’s profile of adaptive strengths as well as significant maladaptive indicators. Participants will review complex cases, differential diagnosis, and comorbid disorders. Examples of diagnostic profiles of children referred for assessment of pervasive developmental disorders will be used to discuss accurate assessment and behavioral and educational intervention practices.|
|Presenters:|| - Terry Overton is a licensed school psychologist and professor of school psychology, at the University of Texas Pan American, who specializes in assessment of children with disabilities. She is the author of an assessment text Assessing Learners with Special Needs which is in the 5th edition. She consults with school systems and families of children with ASD. Her research agenda is in the area of assessment and early indicators of ASD. She collaborates with the Autism Treatment Centers of San Antonio and Dallas, Texas.
- Cheryl Fielding is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Pan American where she teaches in the graduate program for Educational Diagnosticians. She has been a national officer for professional organizations and collaborates with the Autism Treatment Centers of San Antonio and Dallas, Texas. Her current research interests are in the areas of assessment of ASD and in verbal behavioral interventions.
- Alonzon Andrews serves as the director of the Autism Treatment Center in San Antonio. He was a charter board member of Mi Casa, Inc. which provides educational services to children with behavioral disorders, and presently serves as the founding board member of Alamo Solutions, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing services to adults with disabilities. He is developing a diagnostic protocol with the University of Texas Pan American, the University of Texas in Austin, and Texas State University. His research areas of interest include investigating dietary interventions to improve CNS functioning in individuals with ASD.
The assessment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is complex and may result in inaccurate assessment results and ineffective interventions. Assessments to screen for Pervasive Developmental Disorders are conducted by various professionals in the field. Level 1 and Level 2 screening instruments, such as the CARS or the GARS have been shown to over identify children or result in false positive identification of children with ASD. Better diagnostic instruments, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and the Autism Diagnostic Inventory-Revised, are more accurate in the determination of ASD but may not provide enough in depth information for program planning and interventions. The ADOS algorithm does reflect observations of communication, to include nonverbal expression, and social reciprocity, as well as collecting information regarding stereotypies and restricted thoughts. Additionally, this occasion allows for the opportunity to observe some “soft” neurological symptomatology, e.g. tics, movement dysfunctions, seizures, and compulsions. Utilizing the Sensory Profile to capture important information about sensory deficit issues further elaborates the clinical picture.
The ADOS best practice assessment includes measures that determine ASD and measures that identify the child's profile of adaptive strengths as well as significant maladaptive indicators. Interpretation of these assessment techniques and methods will be included for each of the case studies.
In this session, case study examples will be presented to illustrate the assessment of children with ASD who also have additional diagnostic features, such as depression or anxiety. False positive cases will also be included to provide information of how other childhood disorders are inaccurately screened as ASD cases. Case study examples include both verbal and nonverbal cases of children of various ages. Participants will review complex cases, differential diagnosis, and comorbid disorders. Comorbid conditions include AD/HD, Intermittent Explosive Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychosis, and Seizures. Examples of diagnostic profiles of children referred for assessment of pervasive developmental disorders will be used to discuss accurate assessment and behavioral and educational intervention practices.
Intervention practices linked to the assessment cases will illustrate behavioral, educational, and nutritional intervention examples. The interventions, designed for implementation in home and school environments, will be discussed. Preliminary data of interventions are included for specific cases. Video clips of some of the case study examples will be presented.
Objectives of the presentation include, reviewing current state of practice of assessment and best practices of assessment and intervention, providing best practice case studies of accurate assessment, providing case study illustrations of differential diagnosis and comorbidity, and providing examples of effective intervention strategies linked to the best practice assessment case studies.
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