Waiting For An Autism Evaluation? Tips For Preparing While You Wait

29 April 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you're waiting for your child's psychological evaluation to determine if he or she has an autism spectrum disorder, you may feel a bit like you are spending your days in limbo. When you're stuck in the waiting cycle for your appointment, it is easy to feel as though things are just not moving forward. If you want to take an active role in your child's diagnosis, take this time until the appointment to make sure that you are thoroughly prepared. Here are a few things that you should consider doing while you wait.

Gather Your Questions

There's a pretty good chance that you've already done your research on spectrum disorders in order to raise your concerns with the pediatrician. Before you go into the psychological evaluation offered by a business like Rainbow Pediatrics, you'll want to do a bit more reading so that you can build a list of questions relevant to the symptoms that you see in your child. You'll probably still come up with many more questions after the evaluation and even after you receive a diagnosis (if you do), but the more you can think of and ask up front, the more informed you'll feel after the assessment.

Create a File of Your Child's Information

Start a file that includes as much medical information as you have for your child. You can request copies of his or her medical records from the pediatrician if you want, and you should also include any other behavioral assessments or developmental evaluations that have been done. If the school has completed any assessments, you'll want to have those handy, too.

One of the biggest problems that many parents find is that their child's most obvious symptoms, including involuntary movements and active behaviors, aren't always apparent in strange environments. If your child is uncomfortable in the room, he or she may be more withdrawn, making it harder for the psychologist to identify some of these things.

To avoid this common hurdle, spend some time with a video camera while you're waiting for the appointment. If you can, capture some of these common actions on camera. Meltdowns, stimming, toe walking and other actions are all important for the doctor.

Find Out What to Expect

Call the evaluator's office a week or two in advance of the appointment and ask what the assessment is going to consist of. In most cases, the assessment will span multiple appointments – one to determine if there's evidence of a spectrum disorder and then a second, more detailed appointment to determine the scope of the condition. Most of these appointments consist of some conversational interactions as well as child-led play and some practical cognitive skills tests. You'll also have some questionnaires to fill out that detail any problematic behaviors or issues that you've seen at home, in school or during social interactions.

The better prepared you are for this appointment, the more efficient and effective it will be. With these tips, you can help to pass the time productively until your child's appointment.