Diagnostic Services

We pride ourselves on offering state-of-the-art, comprehensive diagnostic services for our families. Accurate and thorough assessments are paramount in recommending and designing effective and appropriate treatment services for children with autism and other behavioral concerns. We believe that in order to accurately assess an individual's strengths, weaknesses, and needs, the assessment must occur in as many of the individual's "natural" environments as possible. Therefore, our assessments span several appointments across different settings. A typical diagnostic evaluation generally involves five to seven appointments.

We firmly believe that a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder cannot and should not be made in a few hours based on history and a one-time observation. The goal of our assessment process is not just to diagnose (or not diagnose) a child with an autism spectrum disorder, but to help a family understand their child's specific strengths and weaknesses. A thorough evaluation should dictate a treatment plan. SPARC's assessment process includes evaluations during structured clinic visits and in home, school, and daycare environments. This comprehensive assessment consists of observations in:

  • the clinic, home, and school,
  • social skills assessment,
  • daily living skills assessment,
  • intellectual and academic ability assessment,
  • language skills assessment,
  • and various developmental/autism scales and standardized tests.

One unique aspect of our evaluation process is that we have two senior level clinicians who conduct different parts of the assessment. This allows for specific expertise in multiple areas to be incorporated into one evaluation, resulting in a thorough examination of all relevant areas of concern. The diagnostic evaluation culminates in a family feedback session in which the family will be provided with a detailed written report containing assessment results, interpretation, and summary, as well as comprehensive recommendations regarding therapeutic services.

Waiting on extensive lists to have an evaluation completed is unreasonable. In order to begin services and to know what direction to take, a timely and thorough evaluation must occur. We will always offer an initial appointment within 6-8 weeks of a family contacting us for a diagnostic evaluation.