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Assessment Guidelines for Families

Family members are often the first to identify differences in their children. Understanding the key components of a comprehensive evaluation not only informs family members but also empowers them to make the most appropriate decisions for their child. However, the assessment process can be an overwhelming and sometimes frightening experience. This section provides a wealth of information for families as they navigate to understand the assessment process.


AIM Module:  "ASD-4-EI: What Early Interventionists Should Know"
Families typically begin the process of noticing differences, experiencing challenges, and looking for answers long before an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis occurs. This module provides information on red flags, causes, diagnosis, and intervention.

Virginia Commonwealth University Online Course
My Child was just Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: Now What do I do?

A self-paced online course designed to introduce families to the characteristics, needs and supports, interventions and services for young children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Special Article: Clinical Assessment and Management of Toddlers with Suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder: Insights From Studies of High-Risk Infants
An article that provides a comprehensive review of findings on the early signs of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) including information on early detection tools, and current best practice for diagnosing ASD prior to age two.

A website that provides parents and professionals with information regarding special education law, education law, and advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

Autism Society
Hosted by the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, this website provides content related to the day-to-day issues with which individuals with autism spectrum disorders are faced, resources and services across the lifespan, and information regarding treatment, education, research, and advocacy.

First Signs
A website that provides parents with a basic introduction of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of autism.

The National Association for School Psychologists
A website that provides information and resources on a variety of topics for school psychologists, educators, and parents.

Early Signs of Autism
A website that provides information and resources to support early identification and intervention.

Learn the Signs. Act Early
A website that provides information about childhood developmental milestones and delays.

Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder Video Tutorial from the Kennedy Krieger Institute
A video series focused on early indicators of autism spectrum disorder and early developmental signs of children with and without ASD.


A Parent’s Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder by the National Institute of Mental Health
A guide intended to help parents understand autism spectrum disorders, recognize signs and symptoms, and locate needed resources.
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Autism Service Guidelines (Definition of Autism and Medical Aspects)
Pages 10 and 14
A set of guidelines intended to serve as a tool to help families, educators, medical professionals, care providers, and other service providers make informed decisions about children, youth, and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
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Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent's Guide to Assessment
A resource guide that empowers families with the tools necessary to navigate the world of assessments. The guide provides practical understanding of the assessment process and how to use assessment results to improve services for children with an autism spectrum disorder.
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Early Childhood Milestones Map
A map that provides parents with information to help them follow their child’s developmental path and gives suggestions on where to turn if they need further information.
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IEP Team Meetings: A Guide to Participation for Parents
A document that provides information for parents on the IEP process and tips for participation and effective advocacy for children with exceptionalities.
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Psychological Evaluation: What Every Parent Should Know
A document that provides information to help parents understand and navigate the evaluation process.
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I Suspect My Child Has Autism: A Four-Step Guide for Ohio Parents on What to Do Next
A document that includes information that addresses the following: (a) different types of evaluations; (b) educating yourself; (c) getting services; and (d) record management.
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What Is Autism?
A resource document that provides information about autism characteristics, symptoms, and risk factors.
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