Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder affecting an individual’s communication, socialization, and behavior.  It is believed to have a genetic basis with a course influenced by environmental events.  Autism is a complex disorder, which may manifest in various ways.  Individuals’ functioning may be affected on a continuum from lower to higher functioning.  Autism Spectrum Disorders currently include Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegration Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS or simply PDD).  Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Poorly modulated or inconsistent eye contact
  • Lack of interest or skill in developing appropriate peer relationships
  • Lack of or impaired development of speech
  • Odd use of language
  • Repetitive behaviors such as rocking, spinning, or lining up objects
  • Restricted interests
  • Problems with reciprocal social skills
  • Sensitivity to sounds, textures, and/or smells
  • Difficulty with changes in routine

Autism is commonly diagnosed in early childhood by a psychologist, developmental pediatrician, psychiatrist, or neurologist.  Best clinical practice includes the use of objective measures in addition to behavioral observations and historical data.

Commonly used tests that we may include in our assessment of Autism at New York Psychotherapy and Neuropsychology Group (NYPNG):

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Second Edition
  • Childhood Autism Rating Scale – Second Edition
  • Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales – Survey Interview Form – Second Edition
  • Social Responsiveness Scale – Second Edition
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales – Fifth Edition
  • Differential Ability Scales – Second Edition
  • NEPSY-2
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Early identification of an Autism Spectrum Disorder and appropriate intervention have been shown to be linked to better prognosis.

A comprehensive evaluation by our knowledgeable professionals is essential to obtain an accurate diagnostic picture in order to obtain appropriate treatment. Individuals may qualify for services through school districts and/or government agencies. Our highly specialized psychologist at NYPNG can help navigate these confusing systems to obtain needed services, while offering treatment through individual therapy and parent behavior management sessions.

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