Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction in the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors and interests.

Previously, individuals with autism spectrum characteristics received a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified; Asperger’s Disorder; or Autistic Disorder, depending on their level of characteristics. All of these diagnoses have been combined to form a single diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Signs of Autism include:

  • Limited or no eye contact
  • Limited / no shared enjoyment in social games
  • Delayed communication
  • Unusual interests
  • Repetitive behaviors 
  • Difficulty forming and maintaining friendships 
  • Poor conversational skills
  • Difficulty reading nonverbal cues 
  • Adherence to rules and routines
  • Difficulty understanding emotions 

Components of a comprehensive assessment:

  • Parent/Caregiver Interview 
  • Developmental or cognitive assessment 
  • Direct assessment using the “gold standard” measures: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) and Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R) 
  • Language assessment 
  • Adaptive behavior interview 
  • Rating scales related to behavior, social skills, and autism spectrum characteristics 
  • Observation of the child in a naturalistic setting (school, daycare, community location). Review of video footage is also helpful when a direct observation is not possible. 

For evaluations, YMC is currently in-network with BCBS, United, Cigna, Aetna, and ComPsych. At this time, they are not in-network with any state-funded plans, such as AHCCCS or Mercy Care.