Autism/Asperger’s: Insights specializes in diagnostic evaluations for Autism Spectrum Disorders including Autism and Asperger’s. We evaluate children (as young as 2!) and adults (as old as 80!) and everyone in between. We are experts in the field and use the gold standards in autism assessment tools such as the ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale, Second Edition) and the ADI-R (Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised).
If you are wondering if your child/sibling/spouse/parent or yourself might have Asperger’s or Autism, please call us for a free consultation. Because Asperger’s/Autism is a spectrum disorder, it presents differently in each individual. People can be greatly impacted by symptoms in which case the earlier a diagnosis is made, the sooner one can get important help/interventions. Other times, a person might present with mild traits leaving a formal diagnosis undetected or missed for years. Either way, a diagnosis can be very important to access the help that is out there.
If you or someone you know exhibits some or all of the following traits, please give us a call to see if an evaluation for an Autism Spectrum Disorder is the right next step:
- Difficulty with Social Communication
- Reduced social-emotional reciprocity such as limited conversation skills or difficulty expressing empathy
- Difficulty using or reading nonverbal communication such as limited use of eye contact, gestures, or facial expressions
- Difficulty developing friendships appropriate to developmental level. This can look like a total disinterest in peers or lack of skills to make friends
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
- Repetitive speech (repeating things over and over) or motor mannerisms (such as hand flapping)
- Excessive adherence to routine/resistance to change
- Special interests (becoming obsessed or fixated on one or more activities/topics/areas of interests
- Highly sensitive (defensive or seeking) to certain sensory input such as sound, light, or touch
Additionally, we can tailor make an evaluation just for you or your child depending on your concerns. We can also evaluate for depression, anxiety, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorders, Cognitive and Adaptive Functioning. Contact Insights with your questions-we are happy to offer an initial 15 minute telephone consultation at no charge.
ADHD: Do you wonder if you or your child might have an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? If you can relate to or your child exhibits the following symptoms, please give us a call for a free consultation or to set up an evaluation:
- Trouble paying attention/focusing
- Difficulty finishing/following through with tasks
- Easily Distracted
- Can’t sit still when needed
- More active/restless than others
- Talks excessively/always on the go
- Acts without thinking
- Blurts out/interrupts
- Trouble waiting turn
Adaptive Functioning: Adaptive functioning means how well a person handles common demands in life and how independent they are compared to others of a similar age and background. Getting an adaptive functioning evaluation will help Insights know how much support you need compared to others and can help you/your child to access support and services. Using the Vineland-II, Insights will evaluate the following areas:
- Communication Skills (receptive, expressive, written)
- Daily Living/Practical Skills (personal, domestic, community)
- Socialization Skills (interpersonal, leisure, coping)
- Motor Skills (gross and fine motor)
- Behaviors (internalizing, externalizing, maladaptive)
Cognitive (IQ) Testing: Insights offers cognitive testing for children, adolescents and adults. Cognitive testing can be helpful in identifying cognitive strengths and weaknesses as well as processing speed and working memory skills. Cognitive testing can be done as a part of a more comprehensive evaluation or by itself.
Additionally, Dr. Dumke is on the testing consortium for private schools in the Denver Metro area. Cognitive testing is a requirement for many private schools Colorado.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum (FASD)
The diagnostic team uses the statistically validated 4-Digit Diagnostic Code created by the epidemiologist Dr. Susan Astley at the University of Washington. According to Dr. Astley, “The 4-Digit Diagnostic Code provides more accurate and reproducible diagnoses than the gestalt method due to its use of quantitative, objective measurement scales, and specific case-definitions. The four digits in the Code reflect the magnitude of expression of the four key diagnostic features of FASD in the following order: (1) growth deficiency, (2) the FAS facial features, (3) central nervous system (CNS) structural and functional abnormalities, and (4) prenatal alcohol exposure.”
FASD evaluations include a medical evaluation, review of previous evaluations, and assessment of neurological development, including cognitive, executive functions, speech and sensory-motor development.
According to the National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), FASD likely affects as many as 1 in 50 children. According to NOFAS, “Based on the best available data, it can be conservatively estimated that 1 in 50 children in the United States have an FASD, while the actual rate may well be somewhat higher, by some estimates as high as 1 in 20.” Many individuals with FASD are misdiagnosed and instead receive a variety of labels such as learning disabled, hyperactive, or oppositional. Alcohol is a teratogen which affects fetal development, including physical appearance, growth, and brain functioning. Individuals with FASD have issues including learning difficulties, problems with fine and gross motor skills, organization deficits, problems with attention and recall, impulsivity and emotion regulation.
Individuals with FASD can be difficult to diagnose due to the broad range of symptoms associated with the disorder, which is why it is so important to see a specialist if you have concerns. Children with an early and correct diagnosis are more likely to receive the most appropriate interventions, and therefore, have the best long-term outcomes.