Easterseals Midwest provides professional autism evaluations and assessments for individuals who have been diagnosed with or who are suspected of having an autism. Assessments focus on the whole person including direct interaction, observation and parental input. An assessment culminates in a summary of strengths and needs as well as comprehensive recommendations for treatment and programming. Behavior/ADOS Assessments will result in a diagnostic report, if applicable. Following are the types of assessment services offered by Easterseals Midwest:
ADOS / Behavior Assessment
The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is an assessment that may provide confirmation of a predetermined diagnosis, identification of an autism diagnosis, specific areas of strengths, and identified areas for growth. The assessment will provide specific treatment and placement/programmatic recommendations.
Communication Assessment looks at all areas of language using standardized tests, as well as informal assessment measures including observations and interactions with the person during various activities. The assessment examines strengths and deficits in the area of expressive language, which involves taking a look at how the person communicates using speech, sign language or another form of communication, such as a picture exchange system or communication device. The assessment also determines strengths and deficits in receptive language, which is how well the person understands language and includes responses to directions, responses to questions and identification of pictures. The assessment also looks at pragmatic language skills, or social skills, which includes the ability to interpret facial expressions and body language, as well as the use of eye contact and other subtle communication signals that people with autism often miss. A social skills assessment also examines how well the person is able to engage in and maintain conversations.
This assessment is performed by a licensed and certified speech and language pathologist. An assessment report is generated, which will identify a thorough overview of the assessment findings with specific recommendations and strategies to use at home, in the community and/or classroom, as well as determine if there is a need for communication therapy.
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Assessment
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) is used by individuals who are nonverbal, limited verbally, highly unintelligible, or by those who cannot consistently rely on their verbal speech.
The purpose of an AAC assessment is to determine a functional and effective communication system for an individual. The assessment process includes a review of current communication skills, as well as overall functioning and accessibility (e.g., vision, hearing and motor functioning). Communication options are identified and explored. Trials on AAC systems are conducted in order to determine the most appropriate communication system for that individual, including software, hardware and accessibility. The team works to feature-match a device to meet the individual’s needs. A recommendation is made during the evaluation process, which may include additional specific device trials and/or the purchase of a specific AAC system. The assessment team and insurance specialist will assist the family in completing all necessary paperwork throughout this process.
The assessment is performed by an interdisciplinary team, including a licensed and certified speech/language pathologist. An assessment report is generated, discussing a thorough overview of the assessment findings, as well as any recommendations. Follow-up and treatment sessions are available to support the use of the communication system following the assessment.
Occupational Therapy Assessments
An autism services Occupational Therapy Assessment looks at the effect of sensory processing on functional performance by assessing an individual's responses to structured and unstructured activities. The assessment looks at how an individual responds to tactile, vestibular (balance and movement), proprioceptive (muscle and joint sense), auditory and visual inputs. The assessment is performed by a licensed occupational therapist knowledgeable in sensory integration. Assessment tools include an interview of the parent(s) or caregiver and the individual, a sensory questionnaire, the Sensory Profile (if appropriate) and a structured observation. The assessment is designed to determine general intervention strategies for the home and/or classroom, and if therapy is necessary.
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Easterseals Midwest’s Functional Behavioral Assessment is a systematic process based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that seeks to identify the problem behavior of an individual to determine the function or purpose of the behavior. The assessment involves observation of the individual in their natural environment, data analysis, completing checklists and rating forms, and interviews with the parents, caregivers, and/or staff. The gathered information is utilized to maximize the effectiveness and develop interventions to teach acceptable alternatives to the problem behavior.
Music Therapy Assessments
We use a global approach implemented by a board certified music therapist to evaluate and observe several areas of functioning. The assessment is conducted on a one-on-one basis with the individual. The areas addressed in an assessment include, but are not limited to, communication, cognition, behavior and social skills. The music therapist utilizes and implements music therapy strategies to observe and evaluate the individual’s behavior, and to determine whether music therapy as an ongoing service can help increase cognitive, social, behavioral and communicative functioning.
To learn more about any of these assessments please contact us at 314-432-6200, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.