Now Offering Autism Spectrum Testing at FamilyFirst

If you suspect that your child or you may be Autistic, a diagnostic evaluation can assist with accessing needed early interventions, establishing or maintaining accommodations, and/or accessing other support services. You or your child may benefit from an autism evaluation if you notice the following: 

For infants and young children:

  • Few or no big smiles or other warm, joyful, and engaging expressions and limited or no eye contact by 6 months
  • Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months
  • Little or no babbling, little or no back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving, and/or little or no response to name by 12 months
  • Very few or no words by 16 months 
  • Very few or no meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months

At any age:

  • Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling, or social skills
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Persistent preference for solitude
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
  • Delayed language development
  • Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)
  • Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Restricted interests
  • Repetitive behaviors (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)
  • Unusual and intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors

For adolescents and adults:

Some adolescents and adults may have spent their whole lives not realizing that many of their experiences or challenges faced are related to signs of autism.  For many autistic teens and adults, going through life without a diagnosis may feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole since trying to live by standards made for non-neurodivergent people can be quite tricky and result in low self-esteem, poor motivation, social isolation, and anxiousness. Diagnosis can also help a person to better understand themselves and make sense of their life history. 

Signs of autism may be more subtle in adolescents and adults than in younger children, and may include:

  • Feelings of social disconnection, wanting to isolate and feeling isolated, feeling left out of social circles or not fitting in
  • Difficulty interpreting others’ feelings or understanding what they are thinking 
  • Difficulty picking up on or misunderstanding nonverbal cues such as eye rolls, shoulder shrugging, and facial expressions 
  • Difficulty seeing things from another’s perspective
  • Talking too loud or being too quiet
  • Not using gestures to communicate, or feeling misunderstood by others when sharing things of interest to them  
  • Exhibiting repetitive behaviors that take on different forms such as needing to keep items in the same order or in a fixed place, needing strict consistency in daily routines
  • Experiencing intense interests that might seem unusual to others in content or depth of knowledge

If your child or you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, feel free to contact us to learn more about our autism spectrum evaluations.  FamilyFirst’s autism evaluations are tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals; as such, we offer several testing options, including an ADOS-2 administration-only, an autism spectrum evaluation, or a comprehensive evaluation that includes autism testing.

Dr. Jennifer Lail
Licensed Clinical Psychologist