Get professional input - always helpful, and essential if you plan to use special education services
A complete developmental evaluation is essential if you suspect your child has autism or a related disorder. You may get a diagnosis, and more important, recommendations for intervention. If the evaluator indicates an ABA program is appropriate, that opinion may be critical to your child's future. Waiting lists for the most helpful professionals can be very long, so make an appointment right away!
Evaluations may be performed or diagnoses delivered by practitioners in many professions, including psychologists, psychiatrists, speech-language pathologists, pediatricians, neurologists, occupational therapists, even social workers and educational administrators! In my experience, the most reliable single source of complete and accurate information about your child is a clinical neuropsychologist. He may also observe and evaluate your child's current or proposed educational program--a service just as essential in securing the right program.
In the USA (and probably some other countries) you have the right to an independent evaluation (you select the evaluator) paid by the school system. The results must be considered by the special education team.
Not all professionals are aware of ABA, and some may have "philosophical" objections, so it is important to get referrals from other parents whose children have benefited from the recommendations of an evaluator. It may be especially important to get an evaluation from a professional who is not closely associated with any school system. Parents report again and again hearing "I can't really recommend a specific program like that for you because it would get me into trouble with the schools I work with." (At least some people are honest!)
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This document is rsaffran.tripod.com/evaluation.html, updated Sunday, 22-Dec-2013 14:14:45 EST
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