CNNH is designed for the early identification screening, assessment and on-going treatment of infants, children, adolescents and adults who have or are suspected of having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (i.e., Autistic Disorder, Asperger Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (NOS), Rett Disorder, Disintegrative Disorder…).
Gold Standard Services
To accurately diagnose an Autism Spectrum Disorder, we recommend a thorough and multidisciplinary series of evaluations and examinations. “One size” does not fit all, our CNNH professional team will tailor evaluations and testing recommendations based upon an individual’s specific needs. Evaluations and testing utilized at CNNH’s Autism Center may include:
- Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS): Through a series of interactions and observations, our clinicians may use this diagnostic tool to evaluate a patient’s communication, social interaction, play and imagination. Other autism diagnostic testing we use include ADI-R (Autism Diagnostic Interview), SCQ (Social Communication Questionnaire), and SRS (Social Responsiveness Scale).
- Neurological evaluation/examination: to assess for neurological, metabolic, nutritional and medical causes and contributors of autism.
- Neuropsychological and Neurodevelopmental evaluation and testing: to determine an individual’s intellectual and social abilities and skills, developmental level, and/or for determining proper educational curriculum and placement and/or vocational planning.
- Applied Behavior Analysis: for analyzing and managing difficult behaviors.
- Allergy/Immunology evaluations: allergies (food, environmental) and immunological disorders are frequent complications of autism.
- High Density Electroencephalography (HD-EEG): many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders have seizures (Epilepsy), and HD-EEG, a “brain wave” test, is a powerful and painless technology assisting in the diagnosis of seizures/epilepsy. CNNH is the only provider in the region using this cutting edge technology for ultimate accuracy and patient comfort, click the link above to learn more…
Once a diagnosis has been provided, our CNNH professionals will review and analyze testing results, and formulate an individualized and “personalized” behavioral, educational, social and medical treatment approach. Treatments are primarily targeted to identifiable biological mechanisms, and also to behavioral symptoms. Not all treatments and therapies are necessary for all patients, and thus, a “personalized” treatment intervention plan is created, and constantly monitored for positive responses. Therapeutic and treatment services available at CNNH include:
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services
- Music / Dance / Art Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Medical Therapies
- Allergy Treatments
- Family Support and Advocacy
- Remote Behavior Assistance and Support® (RBAS)
Autism Spectrum Disorders are neurobiological disorders involving impairment of early brain development, yet the diagnoses are based on behavioral and neurodevelopmental manifestations that are not dependent upon their biological cause. There is no single behavior that is always typical of autism and no behavior that would automatically exclude a child from a diagnosis of autism. Historically these disorders were felt to be a result of an early psychological disturbance or trauma during infancy or childhood, but scientific research and inquiry have proven such theories false.
Autism Red Flags
How and when autism presents itself is also unique to each child, although autism can typically be diagnosed around the age of three. What is common in children with autism are “red flags” or warning signs that something isn’t quite right, typically in the areas of communication skills and social interactions. If you or your family’s pediatrician/physician observe any of the following, there should be an expedited evaluation by a specialist skilled in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders:
- No babbling by 12 months
- No pointing or gesturing by 12 months
- No single words by 16 months
- No two word phrases by 24 months
- Loss of previously acquired developmental skills, especially language
- Lack of joint attention (i.e., your child does not draw others’ attention to objects in the environment)
- Your child does not respond to his/her name
- Lack of pretend, imitative and functional play appropriate to your child’s developmental age
- Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate for your child’s developmental age
- Your child does not imitate others’ behaviors
- Your child is rigid in routines or has very difficult transitions
- Your child engages in repetitive or stereotypical behavior
- Your child has unusual or exaggerated responses to sensory stimuli (for example, covers his/her ears or becomes very upset with loud noises, cannot have tags in clothing, will avoid foods of certain textures)
- Your child has trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
- Your child avoids eye contact and wants to be alone
- Your child appears to be unaware when other people talk to them but responds to other sounds
- Your child repeats or echoes words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language (echolalia)
- Any persistent family, physician or teacher concerns about your child’s development or behavior
“I felt that my son was treated as a WHOLE person – all of his issues were listened to and a next course of action, a personalized plan, was put in place.”