New Beginnings provides diagnostic services for children ages 18 months and up to assess for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While an online autism test may list common autism symptoms, an in-person diagnostic evaluation can be used to access therapy and other treatment options. The evaluation is generally composed of tasks that measure intellectual, language, social-emotional, behavioral, and adaptive functioning. Moreover, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition, considered to be the “gold standard” test in assessing for Autism Spectrum Disorder, is administered by a licensed psychologist.
Early identification of ASD means early access to intervention, which ultimately improves your child’s prognosis. However, a diagnosis of ASD made in later childhood does not rule out the opportunity for tremendous growth for a child through intervention. Autism symptoms can often be identified before a child even turns 2-years-old. From predominantly ages 0-3, your child’s brain is evolving and developing the foundation upon which future learning occurs.
Benefits of a Diagnostic Evaluation
There are several benefits for obtaining a diagnostic evaluation for your child, as doing so ultimately helps your child to be placed on the pathway to success. Overall benefits of receiving a diagnostic evaluation:
- A diagnostic evaluation will assist in identifying which specific interventions are likely to best enhance your child’s development.
- The evaluation process allows for a deeper understanding of your child’s unique strengths, upon which these intervention plans can be based.
- Evaluation findings will also guide recommendations for a child’s educational needs.
Our Psychologists can diagnose the following:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Global Developmental Delay
- Intellectual Disability
- Language Disorder
Steps of an Autism Assessment
Our diagnostic program has a simple three step process.
Prior to the interview, parents will complete an intake form that outlines several questions about your child’s medical, developmental, social-emotional, and behavioral history. At the interview, parents will meet with Dr. Maletsky for one hour, during which a thorough understanding of your child’s developmental history will be obtained and questions will be answered about the evaluation process.
Assessment and Evaluation
Depending on your child’s age, the evaluation will occur over one day for the span of 90 minutes to three hours. Your child will work with Dr. Maletsky to complete cognitive and language-based measures. A parent may accompany a child throughout the assessment should separation difficulties emerge. Further, again depending on your child’s age, administration of the ADOS-2 may also require a parent to be in the room at the time of testing.
Parents will meet with Dr. Maletsky for a one-hour recommendation meeting following a minimum of one week after the assessment and evaluation. A comprehensive report will be given to families at this time that outlines your child’s developmental history, test results, diagnostic impressions, and recommendations for future intervention services. These aspects will be discussed in detail during the recommendation meeting.
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Allison Maletsky, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist with years of experience in assessment services and a passion for working with children and their families. She believes that obtaining a comprehensive understanding of a child serves as a critical tool for not only diagnostic clarification, but also to serve as a guide for building future treatment goals and interventions by uncovering a child’s unique strengths. Dr. Maletsky received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. She went on to receive her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, and her Doctor of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology, from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois, in 2013. Dr. Maletsky’s program track focused on clinical child and adolescent psychology and provided her with extensive training in psychotherapy as well as psychological assessment of cognitive, developmental, learning, social-emotional, and attentional concerns across school, residential, community mental health, psychiatric hospital, and private practice settings. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute of Children and Adolescents in Rockville, Maryland, where she provided assessment and therapy services for students with emotional disabilities. Dr. Maletsky’s drive for learning led her to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to conducting therapy, she received comprehensive training in the assessment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Following her fellowship, Dr. Maletsky served as a faculty member at the hospital, continuing to provide clinical services in addition to supervising and training graduate students and fellows in Autism assessment. She has provided similar services in multiple private practices, has served as an Autism assessment consultant for other professionals, and has advocated for students with Autism in schools. Dr. Maletsky is a member of the American Psychological Association and Maryland Psychological Association, and she is licensed with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.