My discussion will focus on the identification and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across the lifespan, symptoms and characteristics of ASD and those that differentiate and co-occur with other medical and psychological conditions. In addition, challenging behaviors and behavioral interventions that can be implemented across settings will be discussed. With regard to diagnostic procedures, screening instruments, and the components of a comprehensive evaluation will be discussed. The audience will be led through considerations that should be made when choosing the appropriate structured assessment, such as hearing and vision impairments, physical limitations, and the verbal level of the child. As part of the discussion on ASD diagnostic classification, I will discuss disorders that are typically co-morbid with ASD and those conditions that serve as differential diagnoses.
My presentation concludes with a discussion of intervention. This portion of the presentation will focus on a discussion of the various evidence-based interventions available. A particular emphasis will be placed on the philosophy/underlying principles of various treatment modalities/systems. The challenges of intervention will also be discussed in this segment.
The presentation will end by tying together the three components discussed. A particular emphasis will be on the parents’ reaction the ASD diagnosis and the sensitivity needed to help them through the daunting task of understanding ASD, coming to terms with the diagnosis, and helping families receive the appropriate interventions