Patient Evaluations

The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders provides a range of comprehensive evaluation services for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, ADHD, learning disorders, etc.

Individualized, written evaluation reports provide recommendations for treatment, intervention, and educational planning for use at school and in the home.

To get a comprehensive perspective of a child’s strengths and weaknesses and to avoid communication difficulties, we recommend that both parents attend this initial evaluation.

Depending upon the individual’s needs determined by our triage process conducted by our Medical Director, psychologist, and educational consultant, one or more of the following may occur:

Medical Exams

  • During the exam. Medical exams take place in our patient-friendly rooms, where developmentally appropriate toys are arranged for your child’s enjoyment. During the 90-minute exam, the clinician will review your child’s medical history, family history and any current behavioral patterns or concerns you may have. He or she will also observe your child’s playtime, interact with your child and evaluate the reactions to a variety of stimuli. For example, clinicians will be evaluating eye contact, use of oral language or lack of it, the ability to engage with others, the use of toys in the play environment and any unusual hand or finger movements.

    A portion of the neurological exam involves removing the child’s clothing to look for birthmarks under a special light (which can rule out specific illnesses). During the exam, the clinician will also note motor activities (e.g., running down the hallway) or watching the child’s behavior if separated from parents or caregivers. Our clinicians are trained and experienced in observing specific characteristics that help determine the classification of certain behaviors.
  • After the exam. After the exam, the clinician writes a formal report of his or her findings, making recommendations for follow-up services or treatment, as appropriate. These may include suggestions for behavior intervention, physical, occupational or speech therapy.

Psychological Assessments 

Application of age-appropriate assessment procedures are critical for understanding the nature of behavior. Assessment procedures include in-depth clinical, semi-structured interviews and observations (e.g., Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule), which in combination with psychological tests (e.g., IQ, adaptive, and achievement tests) provide a differential diagnosis and a strengths and weaknesses profile. 

Appropriate assessments take into account the perspective of the child, parents and the social and academic environment (e.g., teacher- or school-reports). Psychological assessments are important for treatment and educational planning and progress monitoring during psychological interventions. 

What to expect:

  • Caregiver interview; review of medical, social, academic, and developmental history; teacher and caregiver questionnaires,
  •  Direct, in-person, testing and assessment. Appointments can be modified to suit each individual’s needs.
  • Evaluations include a personalized feedback meeting; an individualized, written evaluation summary; comprehensive recommendations and resources.
  • Follow-up consultation to assist with the implementation of recommendations is also available.

Please note: Many of our research studies provide free diagnostic evaluations. To learn more about our studies and see if you qualify, please visit our research studies page.

Location

2500 Red Hill Ave
Suite 100
Santa Ana, CA 92705
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Phone: 1.949.267.0400
Fax: 1.949.221.0004
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Founding Partners

University of California, Irvine Choc Childrens Chapman University William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation Children & Families Commission of Orange County