About the Evaluation Process
If the screening tool identifies an area of concern, a formal developmental evaluation may be needed. This formal evaluation is a more in-depth look at a child’s development, usually done by a specialist, such as a developmental pediatrician, child psychologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or other specialist. Getting input from a team of professionals is usually best but can be a complicated process.
In order to complete evaluations for children in Island County, local providers have developed a single-entry system. This allows parents/guardians access to all parts of a developmental evaluation without having to contact multiple providers. The goal is also to improve the management of referrals and reduce waiting times.
In Island County, any therapist, school teacher, educator, or parent with concerns or a positive screening that suggests a child may have autism spectrum disorder, should refer the child to their medical home. Your child’s medical home will then refer them for a formal developmental evaluation.
After initial contact has been made, the psychologist may observe the child, give the child a structured test, ask the parents or caregivers questions, and ask them to fill out questionnaires. He/she may also ask for permission to contact other local providers that have had contact with the child (i.e, pediatrician, counselor, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist or teacher) so that a well-rounded view can be obtained of how the child is able to interact in different settings. If a consultation or observation with other providers is necessary, then that will be arranged. At the end of the evaluation, the family will be invited to a conference to discuss the child’s developmental levels and specific results and recommendations. The results of this formal evaluation determines whether a child needs special treatments or early intervention services or both.
Autism Diagnostic Providers
Nearby Specialists Who Can Diagnose Autism:
Connections Psychology Dr. Julie Davies (206) 718-0906
ACE- Autism Pilot Program
Holland Psychology Dr. Elizabeth Holland
Call Kathy for scheduling and availability: (206) 739-7273
Pediatric Associates of Whidbey Oak Harbor (360)675-5555 Freeland (360)331-1314 https://www.pediatricsofwhidbey.com/
Whidbey Integrative Mental Health Paul Samuelson (360) 205-4560 https://www.whidbeyintegrativepsychiatry.com
Talk with your child’s Medical Home (Primary Physician)
Autism Centers Outside Island County:
Seattle Children’s Hospital Autism Center (206) 987-8080
Seattle Children's Autism Center provides assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support for autism spectrum disorders. We offer a range of medical and mental health services for babies, children and young adults. https://www.seattlechildrens.org/clinics/autism-center/patient-family-resources/
University of Washington Autism Center Seattle (206) 221-6806
Clinical Services: Diagnosis, assessment and intervention services. Research: Collaborating with Families and people with ASD to conduct research that will improve outcomes and increase understanding. Training: High quality training for community professionals, caregivers and students that interact with individuals as ASD.