The Early Childhood Autism and Communication Disorders Service specializes in the comprehensive evaluation and early identification of social and communication difficulties in children as young as 12-months of age.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) affect 1 in 150 children. These are developmental disorders that hinder a child's ability to socially interact, communicate, and play. Research tells us that early identification, parent training, and intensive educational intervention can greatly improve children's lives, giving them the greatest chance of achieving their full potential. If a parent or loved one is concerned that a child may be displaying signs of autism, a comprehensive autism evaluation is recommended.
When to seek treatment?
If your child shows two or more of the signs listed below, an evaluation is recommended. It is important to note that there are no absolute clinical indicators of autism and that the presence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that your child has autism.
Impairment in social interaction:
- Lack of appropriate eye gaze
- Lack of warm, joyful expressions
- Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
- Lack of response to name
Impairment in communication:
- Lack of showing gestures
- Lack of coordination of nonverbal communication
- Unusual prosody in speech (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm, unusual voice quality)
Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests:
- Repetitive movements with objects
- Repetitive movements or posturing of the body, arms, hands, or fingers
- Specific narrow interests that the child is very focused on learning or talking about
Our Clinical Services
At the NYU Child Study Center, an evaluation at the Early Childhood Autism and Communication Disorders Service includes three visits with clinical and developmental child psychologists who specialize in evaluating toddlers and young children suspected to have autism or other communication disorders. Evaluations are tailored to the needs of each family and include:
- home or school observation
- behavioral observation
- standardized parent interviews
- speech-language evaluation
- neuropsychological tests, (i.e., cognitive and achievement tests)
- the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
Additional appointments to see our psychiatrists and neurologists are arranged when needed. At times, additional testing, possibly including a genetic evaluation, will be recommended.
The tasks administered during the evaluation are designed to be play-based and test the child's beginning understanding of words, as well as concepts such as intention, imitation, and social responsiveness. At the end of the evaluation parents will receive a comprehensive feedback session, detailed recommendations, and an in-depth report. Our family services coordinator will help the family put the action plan in place.
The NYU Child Study Center offers a specialized treatment called Early Social Interaction Therapy (ESI). If this unique treatment program is appropriate for your child, he or she can be referred at the completion of the evaluation. Other referrals can be made as well based on your child's individual needs.
For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact an intake coordinator at (646) 754-5000 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Our faculty is available for community public education presentations for parents, school personnel, health care providers, and community organizations. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule a speaker.