Assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Updated: Sep 3

How does a child or adult get evaluated for ASD? What kind of assessments are involved?


During the age of one, my parents were recommended by a neurologist that I should get evaluated for ASD. My parents wanted to know what was going on with me in regards to my development, so they followed the neurologist's advice. As a result of my evaluation, I was diagnosed with ASD around the age of two. When it comes to evaluating people for ASD, there are different kinds of assessments implemented: standardized assessments and non-standardized assessments.


Standardized assessments are assessments with consistent questions, which use the same scoring and administration procedures to measure and compare students from their peers in the class and peers in their grade level. When using this assessment for evaluating people for ASD, it examines an individual’s knowledge and abilities in many domains: cognitive, social, and language. Durand (2014) describes the following forms of this assessment implemented in ASD evaluations: Wechsler Intelligence Scales, Autism Diagnostic

Observation Schedule, and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. These forms of assessments are focused on the main domains of human development, which can help determine areas of concern. When evaluating children with ASD, I can use these forms of assessment to find out the child’s development compared to other children in their age group and estimate the severity of a child’s ASD. This is one of the assessments used when evaluating individuals for ASD, so now let’s talk about non-standardized assessments.


Non-standardized assessments are personalized assessments used to measure individual progress of students. When it comes to using this assessment for evaluating individuals for ASD, they examine an individual’s specific performances, skills, and abilities. Durand (2014) shares the following forms of this assessment implemented in ASD evaluations: questionnaires, observation measures, and semi-structured interviews. When I got evaluated for ASD, the doctor who evaluated me used a checklist of questions in regards to developmental milestones. Also, the doctor observed my behaviors, and they recorded my behaviors based on their observations. Plus, I had to perform basic tasks based on the doctor’s instructions, such as walking on my tippy toes, responding when someone said hello to me, and etc. The doctor modified the tasks when needed based on my individual needs.


This kind of assessment is flexible when evaluating individuals with ASD because it can be modified and accommodated based on their needs. This kind of assessment can be changed as the child develops overtime. When evaluating children with ASD, I can use this kind of assessment to find out the child’s severity of ASD, and any information about the child that will be useful for developmental and evaluation goals. Unlike the other kind of assessment, individuals participate more in this kind of assessment due to their individual needs.


All in all, these assessments are used to evaluate individuals for ASD. Standardized assessments can be used to understand the child’s development compared to other children’s development in the same age group and estimate the severity of the child’s ASD. Non-standardized assessments allow people to create development and evaluation goals for the child, and get them interventions and services based on their needs. Both kinds of assessments are beneficial in evaluations for ASD.


So now do you understand more about assessments used to evaluate people for ASD?


Reference:

Durand, V. M. (2014). Screening, diagnosis, and assessment. In Autism spectrum disorder: A clinical guide for general practitioners (pp. 67–83). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pzh&AN=2013-21334-004&site=eds-live

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