Autism and related developmental disabilities are typically characterized by impairments in social interaction, language delay, and repetitive mannerisms. Autistic behavior may include poor eye contact, a lack of language development, problems forming appropriate relationships with others, a preoccupation with one or a few areas of interest, and unusual, repetitive physical movements and gestures (e.g., hand flapping, spinning).
Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means symptoms are expressed in a variety of ways and severity. Given the complexity of the disorder, careful and comprehensive assessment of a child’s cognitive and functional abilities is essential in helping parents understand prognosis and plan for formal education. Diagnosis can be established sometimes as early as 18 to 24 months. Early diagnosis is important because quality early intervention can improve behavior and development, and prevent lifelong disability. At this time, identification of autism and developmental disabilities is growing at an exponential rate. It is now estimated that 1 in 150 children have an autism spectrum disorder, while 14.9 of 1000 individuals have mental retardation or some type of developmental disability. Research suggests that individuals with developmental disabilities are at risk of experiencing academic and mental health difficulties across their lifespan. Therefore, in addition to early intervention, treatment and follow-up care throughout the individual’s lifespan is essential. We also realize the need to consult in the schools and advocate for services in the community. Behavioral Science Specialists, LLC routinely provides the following services for diagnosis, treatment, consultation, follow-up care and advocacy:
The administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), a semi-structured play based assessment, which is widely regarded as the “gold standard” of autism diagnosis
Psychological and developmental assessment for early identification and follow-up of autism, mental retardation, and other developmental disabilities from infants to adults
Functional behavior assessment of problematic behavior
Behavioral treatment of problematic behavior, feeding disorders, sleep problems, and toileting difficulty
Creation and implementation of behavioral plans
School advocacy/Individualized Education Plan (IEP) assistance
School consultation for problematic behavior
Advocacy for services in the community
 www.autismspeaks.org  Jacobson, J. W., Mulick, J. A., & Rojahn, J. (2006). Handbook of intellectual and developmental disabilities. New York: Springer.
Our clinical staff is available for consultation and can be reached by email at Info@BSSonline.org or by telephone at 614.291.7600. Additionally, the interested reader may consider consulting the following sources of information to learn more about autism and developmental disabilities: