Autism spectrum disorder: psychological and functional assessment, and behavioral treatment approaches

Summer S. Chahin, Roger W. Apple, Kailin H. Kuo, Cheryl A. Dickson


There have been significant changes in the way Autism has been defined especially in the last decade. The changes encompass criteria over a spectrum rather than individual diagnoses based on clusters of criteria. With these changes, there has been a push for earlier screening and diagnosis to be made to ensure individual impacted by the deficits have ample time and opportunity to receive the services they need. Additionally, with the changes that have come up, screening tools and assessments have also been changed and improved to assist with the increasing demand of early screening. Screeners have been created to help in primary care settings so physicians can gauge the severity of symptoms and refer patients to the appropriate resources. The assessment and diagnostic process for Autism involves a large battery including parental interviews and forms, the ADOS-II, and a multitude of other intellectual assessments to get a full picture of what the individual is experiencing. Once an individual is diagnosed with Autism, the interventionist team, physicians, and clinicians assist the family in finding the appropriate resources and treatment plan. There are several evidence-based therapies that exist that have been effective in improving the quality of life of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses. Although several interventions and therapies exist, there are some potential interventions some use that need to more research to know how truly effective they are.